Mark: A Walk With Our Savior (Day 51)

Read Mark 12:13-17
   The Pharisees were primarily a religious group concerned for ritual purity; the supporters of Herod were a Jewish political group that approved of Herod’s compromises with Rome. Normally the two groups had nothing to do with each other. 
   The Pharisees did not like Jesus because He exposed their hypocrisy. The supporters of Herod also saw Jesus as a threat. Supporters of the dynasty of Herod the Great, they had lost political control when, as a result of reported unrest, Rome deposed Archelaus, Herod’s son, who was over Judea, and replaced him with a Roman governor. The supporters of Herod feared that Jesus would cause still more instability in Judea and that Rome might react by never allowing the Roman leaders to step down and be replaced by a descendant of Herod. 
   Anyone who avoided paying taxes faced harsh penalties. The Jews hated to pay taxes to Rome because the money supported their oppressors and symbolized their subjection. Much of the tax money also went to maintain the pagan temples and luxurious life-styles of Rome’s upper class. The Pharisees and supporters of Herod hoped to trap Jesus with this tax question. Either a yes or a no could lead Him into trouble. A yes would mean He supported Rome, which would turn the people against Him. A no would bring accusations of treason and rebellion against Rome and could lead to civil penalties. 
   The Pharisees and supporters of Herod thought they had the perfect question to trap Jesus. But Jesus answered wisely, once again exposing their self-interest and wrong motives. Jesus said the coin, a laborer’s daily wage, bearing the emperor’s image should be given to the emperor. Our life, which bears God’s image, belongs to God. Are you giving God all that is rightfully His? Give your life to God: you bear His image.