Taxes and Caesar

When Jesus was asked whether or not we should pay taxes to Caesar, He could have responded with a “Yes” or “No" (Lk.20:22-25).

Instead, He engaged the crowd in a discussion about what belongs to whom, and those who were paying attention and were teachable came away with an appreciation for the claim of God on their lives and a lot less anxiety about paying taxes to Rome. Jesus' way of approaching the issue went far beyond the crowd's desire to know the “right” answer to a very legitimate question. He helped them see their dilemma though the eyes of heaven, which not only pointed them in the right direction as far as their choices were concerned, but gave them a better understanding of how to discern God's heart in a matter.

He changed the entire discussion from a question of ethics (Is it wrong for a Jew to pay taxes to a pagan ruler?) to a question of relationships (Who am I as a Jew and how does my relationship to God change how I relate to this world?)

This is very much how God trains us in regard to everyday life. As we learn how to share our heart and discuss our life issues with Him, He can show us ways of viewing life that we have never seen before.

(This is an excerpt taken from Forming: A Work of Grace)

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