|Julius Caesar (Public Domain)|
Does Jesus' famous advice to "render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's…" suggest an insurmountable divide between politics and religion?
Many believe that it does.
Rev. Dr. Eric D. Barreto explains that Bill O'Reilly has interpreted this quote to mean that there are two entirely separate realms: one in which God rules, and the other in which Caesar rules.
Barreto, however, believes that life isn't that neatly packaged. He not only thinks that Jesus himself was highly political, but also that there is no stark "line in the sand" between politics and spirituality.
Barreto reminds readers that the statement about Caesar was made in response to those who were trying to entrap Jesus. If Jesus had simply advocated paying taxes to Caesar, then he would have been labeled a "sell-out." If Jesus had instead advocated withholding taxes from Caesar, then he would have been labeled a "traitor."
By choosing a politically nonthreatening - yet spiritually powerful - way of responding to his detractors, Jesus not only temporarily sidestepped their traps, but also taught those "with ears to hear" this eternal truth: All things belong to God; therefore, all things will be rendered unto Him as spirituality ultimately triumphs.
Copyright October 7, 2013 by Linda Van Slyke All Rights Reserved