Paying Taxes to Caesar
- Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions.
- Be comfortably alert, still and at peace.
- Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer
- Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
- Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
- Reread it. From memory, determine the central points.
- Jesus had powerful enemies who desperately wanted Him out of the way, and murder was the end goal.
- The Roman coin denarius was the yearly tax for every male Jew; it was called a “poll tax.” The Romans would calculate the potential rebel force liable against them.
- The coin has Tiberius Caesars imprint on it with the words, on the reverse side, “Highest Priest.” The coin was considered “unclean” by the Jews.
- A calculated plot by the leaders, the Sanhedrin, now combined with the Herodians, a political/religious party that served Roman interests — a perfect chance to trap Jesus.
- If Jesus denied paying the tax, He would be counted a rebel. If He taught it right to pay the tax, His enemies thought He would lose favor with the people who hated to pay the denarius to the hated Romans.
- What a mind, what a quick and cutting rejoinder: He asked for a coin, the one used to pay the tax.
- He asked the obvious, which question pointed out that the coin was minted by Tiberius and therefore belonged to him. He who ruled had the right to tax.
- Render to Caesar, one of the most oft repeated phrase in human history. So then, pay the tax whether liked or not.
- But larger is what is owed to God, the Creator, the King of all people – render to Yahweh then what is owed.