And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words. And when they were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not? Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see it. Mark 12:13-15
Here we see two groups , the Pharisees and the Herodians, and they are ganging up to try and trick Jesus. But Jesus saw their hypocrisy, and knew this was a trap. Now realize Israel was being oppressed by the Roman empire at this time, they were looking for the Messiah to be a military warrior, and start a revolt against Caesar.
However this is not why Jesus came to Earth, he didn’t come to defeat the Roman Empire, he came to defeat Satan, and defeat sin and death forever! The Pharisees and Herodians knew if they can trick Jesus into saying “Don’t pay your taxes” then they could have the Roman Empire charge him with a crime. But as stated Jesus knew the hypocrisy of the religious and political leaders, he knew the hardness of their hearts
And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar’s. And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him. Mark 12:16-17
Jesus asked them for a coin, and asked them “Who’s image is on the coin”? They answered Caesar, then Jesus told them to “Render to Caesar what is Caesar’s and Render to God , what is God’s “ This response by Jesus was so brilliant that nobody had a response to it. It was simple “Pay your taxes to Rome and pay your tithes to God”
Jesus gives us a glimpse as Christians how to live in this temporary evil world. We are to live as good citizens, pay your taxes, honor the laws, and serve the community. While Israel wanted a revolution , Jesus was building Gods eternal Kingdom. A Kingdom that would have dominion forever!
We as Christians are to be the Salt of the Earth and the Light of the World (Matthew 5) to preserve justice and righteousness and to proclaim and demonstrate the gospel of Christ. Render to God and to Country in Jesus Name Amen!