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Rendering To Caesar

And Jesus answered and said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s…” Mark 12:17 (NKJV)

Most of us know the story of how the Pharisees and Herodians came to Jesus attempting to trick Him, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are true, and care about no one; for You do not regard the person of men, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?  Shall we pay, or shall we not pay?” (Mark, 12:14-15).  Jesus’ answer was very simple, He said, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s…” (Mark 12:17). 

This a great teaching for those who don’t believe they should have to pay taxes, or who would like to cheat on paying what is required of them.  The same truth given to these religious hypocrites is very fitting for every follower of Jesus Christ today — we need to render to our government what is rightfully theirs. 

There are those who would justify their unwillingness to pay their required taxes based upon the government’s use of these monies to support programs contrary to God’s will.  But Jesus clearly gave a divinely ordained ruling on any such notion, saying we were to pay our taxes.  Keep in mind; Jesus was speaking with the Jewish religious teachers here—a people who vehemently opposed to paying any taxes to the blasphemous, pagan, and idolatrous government of Rome.  

It is God’s heart for us to respect the capacity of those who are in authority over us, and this especially includes those in government.  The apostle Paul spoke about this as well in his letter to the Church of Rome—saying,

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.  Romans 13:1-2, 7 (NKJV)

The apostle Peter taught on this as well and finished by saying, “For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men—” (1 Pet. 2:13-15).

The way I see it is this; God will supply our needs, but we must be good stewards of what He has given us.  Instead of being angry about paying taxes, let’s choose to do it as an act of worship unto our Lord (1 Cor. 10:31).  And in doing so, let’s put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.

I want to encourage you to think and pray upon these truths today.  

STUDY QUESTION: According to the scriptures contained within this devotional, what can we learn with respect to paying our taxes?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you willing to render to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to do it with a heart of worship unto the Lord?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Make a decision within your heart to pay your taxes with a happy heart, as if we are giving this money unto the Lord. 

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Father, thank You for teaching me Your truth.  Help me to see Your will in every aspect of my life, and give me the wisdom and strength to make good decisions. In Jesus’ precious name, amen…


Blessings upon your day, Scott



Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000