Commands of Christ: 77

Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.

They came and said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man and that you are not concerned with anyone’s opinion. You do not regard a person’s status but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not? Should we pay or should we not pay?”  Knowing their hypocrisy he said to them, “Why are you testing me? Bring me a denarius to look at.”  They brought one to him and he said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?” They replied to him, “Caesar’s.”  So Jesus said to them, “Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” They were utterly amazed at him. Mark 12:14-17

They posed this question to him, “Teacher, we know that what you say and teach is correct, and you show no partiality, but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.  Is it lawful for us to pay tribute to Caesar or not?”  Recognizing their craftiness he said to them,  “Show me a denarius; whose image and name does it bear?”  They replied, “Caesar’s.”  So he said to them, “Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” Luke 20:21-25

They sent their disciples to him, with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.  And you are not concerned with anyone’s opinion, for you do not regard a person’s status.  Tell us, then, what is your opinion: Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?”  Knowing their malice, Jesus said, “Why are you testing me, you hypocrites?  Show me the coin that pays the census tax.” Then they handed him the Roman coin.  He said to them, “Whose image is this and whose inscription?”  They replied, “Caesar’s.” At that he said to them, “Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.”  Matthew 22:16-21

Be a good citizen of the earthly country in which you reside.  More than that, however, be a good citizen of the Kingdom of God.  All authority and honor belong to God.  All kingdoms of the earth are under His rule.  All creation is His, including our own selves.  Our lives, our relationships, our possessions, are all His to do with whatever He pleases.  We have the option to disregard this now, but if we do so, we will pay the price for eternity, suffering His wrath and punishment as His enemies.  Far better, to recognize and honor His reign now and have the benefits of reigning with Him for all eternity.