19 文士和祭司長看出這比喻是指著他們說的，當時就想要下手拿他，只是懼怕百姓。 20 於是窺探耶穌，打發奸細裝作好人，要在他的話上得把柄，好將他交在巡撫的政權之下。 21 奸細就問耶穌說：「夫子，我們曉得你所講所傳都是正道，也不取人的外貌，乃是誠誠實實傳 神的道。 22 我們納稅給凱撒，可以不可以？」 23 耶穌看出他們的詭詐，就對他們說： 24 「拿一個銀錢來給我看。這像和這號是誰的？」他們說：「是凱撒的。」 25 耶穌說：「這樣，凱撒的物當歸給凱撒， 神的物當歸給 神。」 26 他們當著百姓，在這話上得不著把柄，又希奇他的應對，就閉口無言了。
- 在將我自己奉獻給神的事上，比照稅率的計算，我是15%，30%， 50% 或是100%的捐獻自己給神？
19The teachers of the law and the chief priests looked for a way to arrest him immediately, because they knew he had spoken this parable against them. But they were afraid of the people. 20Keeping a close watch on him, they sent spies, who pretended to be honest. They hoped to catch Jesus in something he said so that they might hand him over to the power and authority of the governor. 21So the spies questioned him: “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach what is right, and that you do not show partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. 22Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” 23He saw through their duplicity and said to them, 24“Show me a denarius. Whose portrait and inscription are on it?” 25“Caesar’s,” they replied. He said to them, “Then give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” 26They were unable to trap him in what he had said there in public. And astonished by his answer, they became silent.
- Jesus explained here that the demands of the state and the demands of God are not the same. He suggests it is possible to meet both at the same time, but he never suggests that obeying one is exactly the same as obeying the other. In fact, very soon, obedience to God would mean disobedience to the Roman emperor. The early church has defied the Jewish authorities, “We must obey God rather than any human authority” (Acts 5:29).
- On the demand of the state of personal income tax, and the demand of tithing and offering for God’s church, how obedient am I?
- In giving myself to God, am I in the 15%, 30%, 50% or 100% “tax bracket”?
Jesus was constantly being challenged by the teachers of the law and the chief priests. Their question on paying taxes to Caesar was another attempt to trap Jesus so they could discredit him in front of the people. Discuss as a family the meaning of Jesus’ answer. How do people make fun of you? What can be done about it in the spirit of Jesus?