Scripture reading for January 30th: Matthew 22
Towards the end, the Pharisees and Sadducees were trying to trap Jesus so that they could charge Him with religious error and do away with Him once and for all. They were jealous of His authority and the crowds of people that followed Him. One such effort was recorded by Matthew. “Teacher,” they said, “we know you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are. Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” (Matthew 22:16-17)
Jesus was immediately aware of their evil intent. He called them what they were–hypocrites! He then asked them to show Him a coin of that day and asked whose inscription was on the coin. They answered that it was Caesar’s. “Then He said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”” (Matthew 22:21)
There are those today that argue that Christians should refuse to pay taxes because of the evil things that are done with the money by the government. Others argue that the tithe is an Old Testament law that doesn’t need to be obeyed because we are under grace. Jesus would not be trapped. The human mind reasons to find loopholes for selfish reasons and takes the Word of God out of context. Jesus spoke truth in a simple manner! Taxes are due to Caesar! He and His own disciples paid them! (Matthew 17:27) The tithe is owed to God because of who He is: Lord of heaven and earth! Let’s be sure we are not seeking to “trap” God by twisting His own holy Word!