Render therefore…

Your taxes are due today! Like it or not. But it is biblical. 

Let’s break down what Jesus said in Matthew 22 after the Pharisees tried to entangle Him in his words.

Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk. And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men. Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s. When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way. 
~ Matthew 22:15-22

After a flattering introduction the pharisees ask Jesus a problematic question. Can you believe it? They got a group together both, Pharisees and Herodians, and worked together to plot against Jesus. Their hatred of him was evident because they were willing to put aside their own differences for the sake of uniting against the Lord. Their plotting led them to approach Jesus with flattery as they hoped He would be insecure enough or foolish enough to be impressed with their shallow praise.

The group asked, “Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” Jesus’ dilemma with this question was simple. If He said that taxes should be paid, He could be accused of denying the sovereignty of God over Israel (making Himself unpopular with the Jewish people). If He said that taxes should not be paid, He made Himself an enemy of Rome.

Jesus’ answer was simple. “Whose image and inscriptive is this?” This wise answer shows that He was in complete control. “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s. Jesus affirmed that the government makes legitimate requests of us.

His answer is two fold:
We are responsible to give what is due to civil and national governments.
But more than anything we are to be responsible to God in all things.
Render therefore… and give your taxes to the government and give yourself to God!

~ Alexander