The Pharisees went away, considering how they could trap Jesus by his own words. They sent to him their disciples, along with members of Herod’s party, saying, “Master, we know that you are an honest man, and truly teach God’s way. You are not influenced by others, nor are you afraid of anyone. So tell us what you think: is it against the law to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”
But Jesus understood their evil intentions, and said to them, “Hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? Show me the coin with which you pay taxes.”
They showed him a silver coin, and Jesus said to them, “Whose head is this, and whose name?” They answered, “Caesar’s.” Then Jesus replied, “So give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and give to God what is God’s.”
Reading: The hostility between Jesus and the religious authorities built up day by day. Because of this, the Pharisees plotted with the Herodians on how to trap Jesus. They tried to trip Him with a question that will either implicate Jesus on religious grounds or if not, on political grounds. Jesus sidestepped the trap with a clever reply.
Reflection: There are questions that genuinely seek the truth while there are questions that seek the downfall of the enemy. This is the reason why you have to be always on your toes when dealing with such people. You will never know when they will spring the trap. But Jesus is not the type to flee from such occasions. He knows where He comes from and the clarity of His purpose makes Him ready for such eventualities. It’s because of this that the religious leaders could not beat Him in the war of words. A coalition of the aggrieved is beginning to form. Life will always be hard for those who stand for the truth.
Response: Am I honest in paying my taxes and all dues that I owe to others for services rendered to me? Jesus does not stop the payment of taxes to the government of His time because it ensures the environment where income could be made. I too should render a just account of all my legitimate income. I will be doing my share in ensuring the government’s capacity to deliver services to the people.
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