HOST: Ron House
Then the Pharisees went and plotted how to entangle him in his words. And they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are true and teach the way of God truthfully, and you do not care about anyone’s opinion, for you are not swayed by appearances. Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? Show me the coin for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius. And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” When they heard it, they marveled. And they left him and went away.
Despite all their attempts, the Jewish leaders could not find fault with Jesus within their own law. He was flawless in His conduct and in His understanding of the law of Moses. So they turned to the Roman law to try and trap Him. They sent men to question Him on the issue of taxation, a hotly debated topic among the Jews. The Herodians agreed with submission to the Roman emperor and paying taxes to that government, while the Pharisees saw taxes as a violation of the Jewish law. Again, whichever side Jesus chose, He would have trouble with someone. Knowing their hearts and evil intent, Jesus responds by calling for a Roman coin engraved with the image and name of the Caesar. His teaching is that it is right to give to Caesar what belongs to Him, but that they must also remember to give to God those things that belong to Him. It may be that He was speaking of the Jewish taxes due to the temple. But more likely, Jesus was telling them to give God the honor, love, and obedience that was due Him. We likewise must give to God the love and devotion that we owe Him.
How do we give God the love and devotion that we owe Him?
Don’t forget to pray and have a great day!