15 Then the P’rushim (Pharisees) went away and put together a plan to trap Yeshua with his own words. 16 They sent him some of their talmidim (disciples/students) and some members of Herod’s party. They said, “Rabbi, we know that you tell the truth and really teach what God’s way is. You aren’t concerned with what other people think about you, since you pay no attention to a person’s status. 17 So tell us your opinion: does Torah permit paying taxes to the Roman Emperor or not?” 18 Yeshua, however, knowing their malicious intent, said, “You hypocrites! Why are you trying to trap me? 19 Show me the coin used to pay the tax!” They brought him a denarius; 20 and he asked them, “Whose name and picture are these?” 21 “The Emperor’s,” they replied. Yeshua said to them, “Nu, (I am in agreement - it's a Yiddish word) give the Emperor what belongs to the Emperor. And give to God what belongs to God!” 22 On hearing this, they were amazed; and they left him and went away.
Once again the Pharisees tried to "trick Jesus." They were attempting to get Him to answer in a way that was against the Torah. What they did not want to realize is that Jesus WAS/IS Torah. Jesus is the Word made Flesh. HE was WITH God and God established Torah. The Pharisees refused to acknowledge this.
What they did recognize is that Jesus was not concerned with what other people think. They also saw that Jesus did not care about status. Somehow they were able to see certain traits in Jesus, but didn't want to believe His Words. Hmmm.... As that thought came to my mind it made me stop and think: do I do that with people? Sometimes actions speak louder than words. However, sometimes we must acknowledge the words that are spoken. Jesus had both actions and words.
In this case, the religious leaders came to Jesus and were asking about taxes. They wanted to know if they should pay their taxes to the Roman Emperor.
Jesus' answer is quite clear. Paying taxes does not go against Torah.
This is something we need to acknowledge for today. We struggle with knowing how to respond to government decrees. We sometimes do not understand what is God-given and what is man-driven.
We must seek Him in everything. There are things coming that will not be from God. We must be careful and seek Him in everything. We must listen to Him in everything. He WILL give us the answers.
Respect the government authorities and do what they ask, as long as it does not contradict the Word of God. Recognize that the governments of the world will be responsible before God for their actions, just like you will be for yours. Make sure that YOU are doing what HE requires of you. And keep a humble spirit in the midst of it all...
Love and blessings,
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