Sunday, October 16

Matthew 22:15–22

I live in a part of the country where the five-letter word taxes is often used as a four-letter word. Folks around here are highly skeptical of government even as they say we have the best government in the world. The people of first-century Palestine had greater reasons to be on the edge of revolt; they were taxed not by a government they'd elected but by an empire that occupied their land. The parties of the Pharisees and Herodians pushed Jesus on a sensitive issue with their "gotcha" question: Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor or not? They wanted to corner Jesus as the programmed loser, but his famous words of wisdom were a game changer: "Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor's, and to God the things that are God's."

 

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