For as long as anyone can remember, the Body of Christ has been told to “give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to give to God what is God’s.” This instruction has been a cornerstone of the church cajoling the children of God into coercive giving.

(Matthew 22:15-22 ESV) 15 Then the Pharisees went and plotted how to entangle him in his words. 16 And they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are true and teach the way of God truthfully, and you do not care about anyone’s opinion, for you are not swayed by appearances. 17 Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” 18 But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? 19 Show me the coin for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius. 20 And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” 21 They said, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 22 When they heard it, they marveled. And they left him and went away.

The first thing we see in today’s text is that the Pharisees are trying to get Jesus to stumble over His speech — to try and get Him to say something that will incriminate Himself in the sight of the law. This is the standard M.O. of religion — to try to trip up the Gospel and supplant it with the law.

 

© 2016 – Derrick Day (www.derrickday.com)

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