Taxes, Coins, And A Brilliant Response
Posted: Friday, March 4
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.