And they watched him, and sent forth spies, which should feign themselves just men, that they might take hold of his words, that so they might deliver him unto the power and authority of the governor. And they asked him, saying, Master, we know that thou sayest and teachest rightly, neither acceptest thou the person of any, but teachest the way of God truly: Is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Caesar, or no? Luke 20:20-22
Again we see the religious leaders trying to test and trap Jesus, but again their ignorance and pride makes them blind enough to think they can trick the Son of God. Not only did they try to trap Jesus with a theological question, but they used a more political subject to get the Jewish people on their side. The used the topic of taxes, as we know the Roman Empire oppressed the Jewish people by making them pay extremely high taxes and leaving mostly all of them in poverty or debt to Caesar
So they asked Jesus “Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar”? Now the religious leaders believed they had Jesus trapped, if he answered Yes, then the Jewish people would revolt and turn on him. If he answered No, then the Roman Empire would throw Christ in prison. They believed they had a bullet proof plan to finally eliminate this Jesus of Nazareth
But he perceived their craftiness, and said unto them, Why tempt ye me? Shew me a penny. Whose image and superscription hath it? They answered and said, Caesar’s.And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s. And they could not take hold of his words before the people: and they marvelled at his answer, and held their peace. Luke 20:23-26
Jesus being the Son of God and Christ, he knew the hearts and minds of these wicked religious leaders, so he responded with a question “Whose image is on the denarius” A denarius was the Roman coin used during this time period typically for a day’s wage. The crowd of course answered Caesar’s image on the coin. Then Jesus responded “ Give to Caesar what is Caesars and give to God what is God’s” basically Jesus was saying “pay your taxes and pay your tithes”
This response was so perfect , nobody could come up with a response. It also shows us Gods sovereignty as he is the one who establishes governments and allows them to operate (Romans 13) We as Christians are to be good citizens, we are to obey laws when they don’t conflict with God’s moral law and pay our taxes. The religious leaders had no response for Jesus, so they held their peace. Again Jesus wins another theological round with the religious leaders.
Render to God and to Country, while we are here on Earth, we are to be the salt of the Earth, we are to live as good citizens. If the salt is no longer good, what use is there for it? (Matthew 5) With that said , we are also to “Obey God and not Man” (Acts 5:29) when it comes to issues that conflict with God’s moral Laws. Give to your country what belongs to your country and give to God what belongs to God Amen!