There’s a lot of talk these days about the relationship between Christians and government. This isn’t a new kind of tension, because apparently Jesus’ peers had similar discussions. In this short text, Jesus doesn’t solve all of the difficulties, of course—Paul would later reflect on this this theme more in Romans 13—but he speaks to some of the tensions in his world: he didn’t side with the Zealots, who wanted to rebel against the government, and neither did he side with certain sects who wanted to curry favor with Rome.
Jesus’ ultimate point was our allegiance to God—that’s an important point. Just as the coin bore the image of Caesar and belonged to him, we bear the image of our Creator and owe all things to him. Perhaps this text has something significant to say to things going on in our world right now.