“Give back to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” (Matthew 22:21)
We grumble out loud about paying our taxes and under our breath about our government and it’s leaders. We look for loopholes for getting out of paying our taxes and find excuses for withholding honor where it is due.
But followers of Jesus do more than just ask what is due, they do what God asks. Our relationship with Him is characterized by our love for Him and respect for others (Matthew 22:37-40). Our obedience to God is demonstrated by our submission to our governing authorities (Romans 13:1).
“You must submit [to government], not only because of wrath, but also because of your conscience. And for this reason you pay taxes, since the authorities are God’s public servants, continually attending to these tasks. Pay your obligations to everyone: taxes to those you owe taxes, tolls to those you owe tolls, respect to those you owe respect, and honor to those you owe honor. ” (Romans 13:5-7)
Jesus taught His disciples to pay taxes willingly — even when the Roman government to which He paid them crucified Him. Rather than dishonoring the Roman and Jewish leaders who unjustly killed Him (Matthew 27:11-13), Jesus entrusted His life to the One who judges justly (1 Peter 2:21–23). He gave back to God what was God’s — His life — and was glorified (Philippians 2:8-9).
Why should we give anything less than the taxes that are due to our government and the honor that it’s leaders are due?
Before you comment on partisan politics, post a rant against the government or it’s leaders, or decide to share an inflammatory article, consider who’s watching and who’s listening. In a culture where more people than ever before claim no religion, we are the only Bible many will read. Our personal witness has never been more critical to the advance of God’s Kingdom. The way we submit to God’s servant (government) and servants (leaders), says a lot about our trust in God. Let’s pay what’s due — taxes and honor.
Follow me… as I follow Jesus Christ.