“Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s but give to God what is God’s” (Mk 12). As disciples of Jesus, we can see two lessons here. The first is the example of Jesus’ prudence in responding to his enemies. They wanted to get him in trouble with the Roman authorities. Jesus deliberately evaded their trap. When people try to manipulate us it is not dishonest to uncover the manipulation. It is noteworthy that Jesus did this in a calm manner. His style is always a lesson for us.
The second lesson is that Caesar does indeed have his due. As disciples of the Lord we live in a secular society which has rights and secular needs. Caesar may have been an unwitting servant of God; nevertheless, he did fulfill a necessary function in the society of his time. Spiritual people can fall into the trap of acting as though they already lived in paradise rather than on earth by failing to be responsible to the secular order in which they do in fact live.
Protect me from my enemies, Lord, and give me prudence so that I will be an effective witness to you in a world that has need of your honesty and wisdom. In your name may I testify to your truth.