Today's Reading: Exodus 31-33 and Matthew 22:1-22
One of my favorite lessons is to hand out foreign currency to students. I then ask them to describe the country that uses that money. I don't give them any information about the countries, including the names, so the only clues they have are what they see on the coins or bills.
Of course some of the answers are pretty imaginative. But in general, you can accurately tell a lot from a culture by their money. It may seem strange to think of money as art but it is designed to reflect values and ideologies.
Jesus seems to be making that very point in our passage today -- when you look at the coin above, you see the culture of Rome. The man pictured is Emperor Tiberius. Jesus encouraged Roman citizens to pay their taxes but He warns us not to be confused about whose kingdom we ultimately belong to.