Later the leaders sent some Pharisees and supporters of Herod to trap Jesus into saying something for which he could be arrested. “Teacher,” they said, “we know how honest you are. You are impartial and don’t play favorites. You teach the way of God truthfully. Now tell us—is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not? Should we pay them, or shouldn’t we?”
Jesus saw through their hypocrisy and said, “Why are you trying to trap me? Show me a Roman coin, and I’ll tell you.” When they handed it to him, he asked, “Whose picture and title are stamped on it?”
“Caesar’s,” they replied.
“Well, then,” Jesus said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.”
His reply completely amazed them.
Who created the coin? It’s use? This passage highlights the difference between what is mankind oriented and created and what is God created and oriented. The use of coins to acquire goods is man’s invention. Taxation concerns itself with the coin, in most cases. Tribute used to be collected of goods as well. God’s requirement of the giving of our first fruits, began with the giving of our gain from His blessings, His creation. God’s creation provides for our health and well-being. From that provision we give back the tenth in recognition of the true ownership and in thanksgiving. The rest is for our continued use to live whole and healthy lives. Whereas the coin allowed for the acquisition of goods, created hoarding and abuse and man’s system of commerce grew from the coin, recognize the origin of the coin and give the system of man its due. Do not neglect the system of God, however, through our immersion in the world system and world view. Give to Caesar (man)what is his, and give to God what is his.
Take away – Honor God with the first fruits of our labor to recognize his provision and give thanks. Pay our taxes in recognition of the law we live under. Are we listening to Him? Are we putting into action what he commands? Is the Word of God alive and active in us?