Douglas Wilson: Children of the Rainbow -- "As Voddie Baucham put it memorably, if you render your children to Caesar, don’t be surprised when they come back Romans."
People frequently quote the verse (*), "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's" without thinking about the context.
Now, for sure, the overall context is that some Pharisees (and partisans of the Herodian dynasty) were trying to set a trap for Christ: they say only two answers to the question they posed him, both of which they could spin to his condemnation. His answer was to expose the question's false premise on which rested the dilemma by which they thought to trap him..
However, *that* is not the context to which I wish to draw Gentle Reader’s attention, but rather to a sub-context of that overall context.
What did Christ ask them? He asked, “Whose image does this coin bear?” What he didn’t ask explicitly - for in the context of people who live and breathe the text (even if not quite the spirit) of Scripture - it is always implied: “Whose image do you bear?”
So, here is how they understood has answer to them: “Here is a coin; it is marked as being the property of Caesar. And here is you, who are marked as being the property of God. So, if Caesar demands what is his, give it back to him. But do not give him what is God’s.”
(*) and frequently, just the first half; I think we can expect this frequency to increase in the near future
The Other McCain: What Education Teaches