Read Luke 19
The real reason why Jesus came (Luke 19:10). Individual Christian ministry (19:13). Jesus answers questions concerning the resurrection (20:27-40).
The Pharisees conspired against Jesus with the cooperation of the nonreligious political party called the Herodians, a group which urged Israel's submission to Rome (Matt. 22:16). These opposite-thinking groups of people hypocritically sent an investigative committee from the Sanhedrin, pretending to be interested in following Jesus. They said to Jesus: Master, we know that Thou sayest and . . . teachest the way of God truly: Is it lawful for us to give tribute (taxes) unto Caesar, or no? (Luke 20:21-22). Since the majority of Jews deeply resented paying taxes to the Roman government, this "committee" was sure the crowd would quickly turn against Jesus if He said "Yes." And the Pharisees could also say He was not the Messiah of Israel if He taught subjection to a Gentile government. But, if He said "No," the Herodian party could then accuse Him of conspiracy against the Roman government and Pilate could have Him arrested for disloyalty and treason.
But He perceived their craftiness, and said unto them, Why tempt ye Me? Shew me a penny (a Roman coin that was an accepted currency among Jews). Whose image and superscription (inscription) hath it? They answered . . . Caesar's. And He said unto them, Render (Give) therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's. The rest of His comment came as a stinging rebuke to their hypocrisy when He added and unto God the things which be God's (20:23-25). It is common knowledge that the image upon a coin is representative of governmental authority, but added to that we must also submit to the highest authority because we are created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26-27). This means that the words of Jesus are still just as true for us to tithe since it represents our accountability to God and expression of gratitude for His provisions.
Some misguided citizens accept the benefits of government but avoid paying taxes. They ignore the two reasons for paying them. Christians are to pay required taxes and obey the law, but they also pay them as a requirement to please God. We simply cannot ignore His clear command to: Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers (I Pet. 2:13-14).
Thought for Today:
For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope (Rom. 15:4).
19:13 Occupy use your talent to buy and sell; 19:16 pound a unit of money to illustrate opportunities to increase; 19:21 austere stern, exacting; 20:20 feign themselves just men pretend to be sincere followers.
For Luke 19:38: See Ps. 118:26. Luke 19:46: See Is. 56:7; Jer. 7:11. Luke 20:17: See Ps. 118:22. Luke 20:28: See Deut. 25:5. Luke 20:37: See Ex. 3:6. Luke 20:42-43: See Ps. 110:1.
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Dr. John A. Hash • Staff: Clarence Rathbone • Government Official: Rep. Marcia Fudge (OH) • Country: Gabon (1 million) in west-central Africa • Major language: French • Religious freedom • 66% Roman Catholic; 30% Protestant; 3% animism and ancestor worship • Prayer Suggestion: Remember that one of the purposes of prayer is to glorify God (Ps. 115:1).
Memory Verse for the Week: Mark 4:19