The Ancient Coin Trade and the Believer Stamped by Jesus
Matthew tells us that they came to Jesus and tried to trap Him. They asked Him if it was lawful to pay tribute to Caesar or not. If He answered yes, they could accuse Him to the people of being a supporter of the Romans.
If He said no, they could accuse Him to the Romans of fomenting revolt. Instead of answering them directly, He instead asked to see a coin, so they brought Him one. He asked whose likeness and name was on the coin and they said “Caesar’s.” Jesus famously responded: “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.” In other words, that little piece of metal had Caesar’s image engraved on it, so it was his. I believe that Jesus was referring to the Genesis account of the creation of mankind when Adam and Eve were made in the image of God. The coin was stamped with Caesar’s image, yet we who believe in Christ have experienced what the Christmas carol declares:
Adam’s likeness now efface,
stamp thy image in its place.
Second Adam from above,
Reinstate us in thy love.
When I enter Zak’s Jerusalem Gifts on Christian Quarter Road, whether just to say hello, or to stay for tea, I like to look at the large variety of ancient coins for sale in the store. I think about the story from Matthew every time I hold a Roman coin in my hand. I look at the image of the Caesar and remember that Jesus said that I am made in the image of God.
Caesar's Coin, by Peter Paul Rubens (1612-1614)
In the coin trade, as in spirituality, it is easy to be duped by cunning forgeries. People go about claiming to be made in the image of God yet their fruits indicate otherwise. Too often, such is the case with Roman and other ancient coins. Just as with spiritual things, it is best to go to someone whom you can trust when you wish to buy a genuine Roman coin. Zak has a long record of honesty and reliability in Jerusalem and around the world.
I hope you do buy a coin on your pilgrimage to Jerusalem. They are excellent, easily transported gifts for either yourself or a loved one back home. When you buy a Roman coin, you can do what I do. Hold it in your hand and imagine Jesus holding it up and declaring as He did that mankind belongs to God. Not only is a coin a good way to remember your trip to the holy land, it is a good way to remember that you are a child of God and are stamped with His image.
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