Some of you have probably heard me mention the simple conversation between Jesus and the one who was questioning him, trying to pit him against Caesar. And he looked at Jesus and he said, “Is it alright to pay taxes to Caesar?” (Mark 12:14-17) That is one question I wish so desperately Jesus had answered differently—then on April 15 you could be godly and rebellious at the same time!
Jesus, so brilliant in his response, he says, “Give me a coin.” And he took the coin and he says, “Whose image do you see on this?” The man says, “Caesar.” Jesus says, “Give to Caesar that which is Caesar’s, and give to God that which is God’s.”
The disingenuousness of the questioner is noticed in the fact that he did not come back with a second question. He should have said, “What belongs to God?” And Jesus would have said, “Whose image is on you?”
Give to Caesar that which belongs to Caesar; give to God that which belongs to God. God’s image is on you.
The whole concept of the Imago Dei (or)…the ‘Image of God’ is the idea that all men have something within them that God injected…
This gives him a uniqueness, it gives him worth, it gives him dignity.
And we must never forget this…there are no gradations in the Image of God.
Every man from a treble white to a bass black is significant on God’s keyboard,
precisely because every man is made in the Image of God.
One day we will learn that.
We will know one day that God made us to live together as brothers
and to respect the dignity and worth of every man.
– Martin Luther King, Jr. from his “The American Dream” sermon, July 4, 1965
Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke frequently of a hoped-for day when all people would be united as God’s children, joined together by our joint creation as the Image of God. Not one of us reflects God more than another but together form His body and His kingdom on earth.
Dr. King’s words and wisdom continue to inform us of our shortcomings over 50 years later as we flounder in our flaws and brokenness; so many question not only the validity of equality of all people of all shades, but even doubt the existence of a God who would create a world that includes the crippled body, the troubled mind, the questioned gender, the genetically challenged, the human beings who never draw a breath.
Yet we are all one, a composition made up of white and black keys too often discordant, sometimes dancing to different tempos, only on rare occasions a symphony. The potential is there for harmony, and Dr. King would see and hear that in his time on earth.
Instead we unite only in our shared tears, shed for the continued strife and disagreements, shed for the injustice that results in senseless killings, shed for our inability to hold up one another as holy in God’s eyes as His intended creation.
We weep together knowing a day will come when the Lord God will wipe tears away from all faces — all colors just as they are. No gradations.