Just Give It To Them!

Showing Jesus a gold coin, they said to him, "The emperor of Rome's people demand taxes from us."
Jesus said to them, "Give to the emperor what belongs to the emperor, give to God what belongs to God, and give to me what is mine."
Gospel of Thomas 100

There are things demanded by society.  I don't think Jesus totally advocated dropping out of society and becoming a hermit in the desert.  I think we have certain social obligations.  We give the empire what is expected.  But higher than that is what we offer God.  For many people we offer God our prayer, rituals, and actions.   Jesus too, as the messenger of God demands that those who become his students do what he says.  Jesus speaks like a rabbi who could declare things permitted and forbidden.  He also resembles a Zen master or Guru expecting respect from those who became his students.  To take a teacher and neglect his teachings is playing religious games. We have certain obligations to family and state, to our religion and to our teacher who speaks in our heart.  How hard it is to juggle and to integrate the three!


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