“And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words. 14 And when they were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not? 15 Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see it. 16 And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar’s. 17 And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him.” Mark 12:13-17 (KJV)
THEY TRY TO TRICK JESUS CONCERNING TAXES.
“Shall we pay taxes to Caesar or not?” That is a question many still ask this day and time.
Is it lawful, is it right, is it godly to pay taxes? Jesus said, “Render to Caesar, the things which are Caesars, and to God the things that are God’s”. What kind of society did Jesus live in? Roman rule was the law. Did Jesus protest taxes because the Romans were unjust, wicked, and boisterous? No! He said, “Pay your taxes”.
Jesus asked for a “penny”, and He looked at the image on the penny. He asserted that since Caesar’s image was on the penny then it needed to be given to Caesar. Whose image is on man? God’s. Therefore, give to God what is God’s. That means yourself.
Jeremiah the prophet told the people how they were to live as captives in Babylon, and under Babylonian captivity.
“Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, unto all that are carried away captives, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem unto Babylon; 5 Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them; 6 Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished. 7 And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.” Jeremiah 29:4-7 (KJV)
Also consider Romans chapter 13:1-7
Whether we as Christians want to admit it or not; like it or not; makes little difference if we are subjects of our Lord. We submit to Him, and the laws of our captive land. We are “captives” of a sort in this world until our redemption in Jesus Christ is completed at His coming.
-Tim A. Blankenship