Giving Unto Caesar

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5 June 2018

In today’s Gospel, we have the famous dialogue between Jesus and the Pharisees and Herodians about paying taxes to Rome. This issue was naturally a flashpoint within the Jewish community in Israel at the time and Jesus’ opponents thought they had Him nailed. Whatever answer He gave, they thought, they could make it go very badly for Him.

‘Is it permissible to pay taxes to Caesar or not? Should we pay, yes or no?’ Seeing through their hypocrisy He said to them, ‘Why do you set this trap for me? Hand me a denarius and let me see it.’ They handed Him one and He said, ‘Whose head is this? Whose name?’ ‘Caesar’s’ they told Him. Jesus said to them, ‘Give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar – and to God what belongs to God.’

Jesus’ reply to His questioners left them utterly speechless. You must admit, it was pretty impressive! It still rings like a bell when we hear it today.

In today’s context, what is it exactly that ‘belongs to Caesar’? Without doubt, Christians do have to pay their fair share of taxes and be decent and honest citizens contributing to a functioning economy. ‘Giving back to Caesar’ can mean for us ‘doing right’ financially by the society we live in.

So what belongs to God? Everything!

‘Giving back to God what belongs to God’ means acknowledging that all the things we possess, even our very lives themselves, are God’s gift to us. It is a wonderful grace to return the gift to Him, consciously placing our lives, our talents, our finances, our possessions and our hopes and dreams for the future firmly in His hands.

Give your life back to God today. It is the path to freedom and joy.

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