"Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's. . . "

“Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s. . . “

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

“Jesus said to them,’Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s” (Mark 12:17)

Jesus recognized the political scene, and affirmed the priority of God’s will. We are told to pray for our political leaders:

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way.” (I Timothy 2:1,2)

It is evident that God desires a peaceful and good life for each one of us. The atmosphere should be “godly”.

Although we are to seek God and his kingdom (Matthew 6:33), we are not to ignore the governmental scene around us. We are to be good stewards in our position of being the citizens of the United States. What are we to look for? Men and women of integrity who respect the truth and tell the truth. Men and women that seek the welfare of their country, and are perceptive and have understanding. We need leaders who are competent and strong in truth, justice, and righteousness.

Truth When our leaders lie to us, we become cynical, and wonder when tobelieve them and when not to believe them.

Jesus: “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

We wonder why they are not telling the truth. Do governing officials tell us what we would like to hear, rather than what we ought to hear? When the truth is told, we can be happy knowing that we are dealing with reality and people with integrity.

Justice means that in the same circumstances, all are to be treated equally. It does not matter whether we are black, white, or brown. It is not to matter whether we are rich or poor.

“My brethren, show no partiality as you hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.” (James 2:1)

“You shall do no injustice in judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor.” (Leviticus 19:15)

“My brethren, show no partiality as you hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.” (James 2:1)

Occam’s Razor needs to be observed: “no complexity without necessity.”

Righteousness means that we do what is right, we do not lie, steal, or embezzle. We do not mislead, we do not cheat. We have high regard for God, and endeavor to do what he teaches us to do. We seek out and live by the teachings of scripture.

One of the privileges we have in the United States is to vote for officials and for propositions. We should not sit on our hands. We should be engaged, informing ourselves, studying the issues and showing up at the voting booth. We understand that we are servants of our Savior, and to make our decisions in harmony with the goodness he teaches us. Let us pray for our states and our nation, and for God’s guidance that we may be responsible citizens.

Foster H. Shannon
More about Foster…
Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth. The Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA until recently, he is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. As the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, established in 1981, he publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences.
The website is:
He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.