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.
Today is one of America’s least favorite days: income taxes are due.
But taxes are nothing new—the pesky dues have been around for millennia.
In today’s verse, the Pharisees were out to get Jesus, attempting to “entangle him in his talk” (Matthew 22:15). And they decided to use the subject of taxes to trip him up.
The Pharisees sent their disciples to Jesus with a controversial question, hoping to provoke a response that’d get Jesus stuck.
Their lackeys approached Jesus and prefaced their question with flattery to deceive him, and then asked, “Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?”
Matthew records that, “Jesus, aware of their malice” (Matthew 22:18) asked the hypocrites why they put him to the test. And then, he blew them away with an answer that encompasses all of life.