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Daily Devotions

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Taxes, Coins, And A Brilliant Response

Posted: Friday, March 4

Pastor Joshua Humpa // Children's Pastor

Pastor Joshua Humpa // Children's Pastor

One Year Bible Reading Guide:

Numbers 2:1-3:51
Mark 11:27-12:17
Psalm 47:1-9
Proverbs 10:24-25 

 

Verse of the day:

“Well, then,” Jesus said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.” His reply completely amazed them. (Mark 12:17)


If you were living in the timeframe that Jesus said this, you probably would have been just as amazed as the rest of the people there. But if you’re a normal person living now, you might think Jesus was pretty clever with words but may not be quite as wowed as the Pharisees and Herod fans were. Fear not. There’s a reason why these guys’ sandals were blown off and I’ll try to explain why. 

 

 

First of all, this whole scenario was set up as a trap for Jesus. Their intention of asking this question was to get Jesus to say something that they could use to publicly humiliate him (something we see in the politic game o too often). When asked if people should pay taxes to Caesar or not, it was a lose-lose. If Jesus said don’t pay your taxes, then legally he was opposing the Roman government and we all know how that would have gone down. If Jesus said pay your taxes his reputation as a Jew would have been shamed and his poll numbers would have plummeted. Not only were the Jews fed up with the outrageous tax system, but they hated the actual coin itself. Along with being adorned with the face of Caesar the coin read, “PONTIF(ex) MAXIM.” This was a claim that Caesar ruled the entire world, both politically and religiously. Good thing Jesus knew what He was doing. 

 

 

Jesus’ brilliant response it to, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.” Incredible answer! Jesus was not separating church and state. If you’re a genuine follower for Jesus, you can never separate that identity from any choice you make. Instead, His response reflects the two laws that Jesus decreed to us: love God and love man. The coin bears the image of a man, but humans bear the image of God. Give to Caesar what is his, the coin, and give God what is His, our very lives. We cannot control certain aspects of our lives, such as being heavily taxed or living under an evil dictator. What you can control is your response and actions despite your living conditions. Give God what belongs to Him - your everything. Let every decision you make, everything you say, and every thought you think be surrendered to God. Today, ask the Holy Spirit to aid you in all that you do. Let your identity reflect the truth of who you are in Christ.