Coram Deo Blog

Render to Caesar

Dear Parents and Partners,
It's April 15th, and by now most all of us have settled our account with the government. This year, my family owed the State of Indiana, but have a little bit coming back from our Federal tax return. I couldn't help but notice that I was required to pay my debt to Indiana by the 15th of April (technically the 18th), or I would be subject to fines, while the Federal government appears to be under no such deadline to send our refund.
I'm sure there are reasons for this, and far be it from me to sort it all out. I only mention it because today reminded me of a time when the Lord was asked about whether it was right to pay taxes to Rome. The following is the conclusion of a speech I was honored to give at Coram Deo's 2014 graduation ceremony that discusses the Lord's answer. As He so often did, Christ spoke to the greater question that was beneath the actual question that had been asked.

"In closing, I want to leave you with a singular thought from Matthew 22:15-21:

'15 Then the Pharisees went and plotted how to entangle him in his words. 16 And they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are true and teach the way of God truthfully, and you do not care about anyone’s opinion, for you are not swayed by appearances. 17 Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” 18 But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? 19 Show me the coin for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius. 20 And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” 21 They said, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 22 When they heard it, they marveled. And they left him and went away.'
The denarius had Caesar’s likeness, his image, and thus it was his. But you…you Andrew, Anna, and Liesl, have been created in the image and likeness of God. Thus, you are His…and you are to render your very lives, your hearts, your minds, your strength, your love…your “everything” to Him. God bless each of you on this day, and each day that will follow."
Blessings to all,
Kent Welch
Head of School