Andy Crouch on Mark 12:13-17 and its application to the U.S. Constitution’s three-fifths compromise:
Jesus asks for a coin and asks the seemingly innocent question: “Whose image [Greek, eikōn] is this? Whose title?” But the question is not innocent. Caesar has made the coin, imprinting his image upon it — so it is fine to give it back to him. But, then, who bears the image of God and thus belongs to Him? Human beings. Jesus’ answer not only evades His opponent’s trap — it raises the profound question of whether they, and we, are rendering all human beings to God with the dignity they deserve as His image bearers — or whether we are turning them into property and the currency of power and taxation.
I hadn’t really stopped to think about how Jesus’ teaching here doesn’t only ask his listeners what belongs to Caesar, but also, implicitly, what belongs to God. What bears his image?