Monday, June 30, 2008

The Debt of the Image-Bearer

Yesterday we visited a wonderful little church that Dr. Scott's wife, Zondra, recommended to us: Baxter Avenue Baptist Church. The people were genuinely friendly and very down-to-earth. The pastor, Ben Lairamore, is preaching through Mark and was on the passage where the People try to trap Jesus by asking Him whether you should pay taxes to Caesar or not. The well-known passage is a great example of the profound wisdom displayed by Wisdom Himself. Ben brought out a point that I either forgot about or never heard because it seeemed new to me yesterday...

In Mark 12:13-17, Jesus asks the Pharisees and the Herodians whose image was stamped on the coin. To the response of "Caesar" Jesus posits that whatever has the image stamped on it belongs to the owner of which the image reflects. He then says, "Give to God what belongs to God." This enthymeme is huge! It begs the question, "What belongs to God?" Following off of His logic, the answer would be: "Whatever has God's image stamped upon it." All things reflect, though dimly because of the curse, the glory of God (Psalm 19:1-4) but more explicitly, human beings reflect God's glory because they are all made in His image (Genesis 1:27). So what does that mean for us? It means that we are not our own. We belong to God as His creatures made by His command. We are in complete dependence upon Him and therefore, we cannot claim any rights of our own. We owe God everything for in Him we live and move and have our very being (Acts 17:28) and because all things were created for Him, by Him, and through Him (Colossians 1:16). And if God ordains all that comes to pass, then everything and everyone is under His command and who am I to question that!?

"Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth." (Job 40:4)

Ben's whole message can be heard here.

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