January always reminds me of the coming tax season. And strange enough that always reminds me of a Bible story found in Luke 20. It seems that no one has ever liked taxes and the Pharisees were no exception.They particularly resented paying tax to the Romans. In this they saw an opportunity to discredit Jesus who they also didn’t like.
There were multiple reasons they didn’t like Jesus. He came from the wrong place. Everyone knows nobody important came from Nazareth! He had the wrong friends. Some were tax collectors and others prostitutes. He didn’t keep the Sabbath according to their way of understanding it.
But there was a problem. He was known as a holy man and everyone knew he always told the truth. That might just be a way to discredit him! Get him to answer a question about taxes that would put him in a bad light with many people. So they asked, “ Should we pay tax to Caesar or not?”
Jesus answered the question they asked and then one they didn’t ask. First he noted that the coin of the day had Caesar’s image on it. You use his money. Pay him tax on it. Then he answered what they hadn’t asked. “Give to God what is God’s”. His meaning was clear. Humanity is made in the image of God. It is only right to give to Him what is His. We have a responsibility to see that we honour God with what is His. Our very being. He deserves our worship because of ownership.
Rawlin Falk is pastor of Maple Park Alliance Church in Quesnel.