Ok before anyone writes me off as a heretic, I admit that Jesus was never quoted as saying, “show me the money.” But to be fair, he was never quoted saying anything in English, so I think his statement in Matthew 22:19 is clear that he’s asking to see the money. Take a look:
Matthew 22:17 – 21
17 Now tell us what you think about this: Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”
18 But Jesus knew their evil motives. “You hypocrites!” he said. “Why are you trying to trap me? 19 Here, show me the coin used for the tax.” When they handed him a Roman coin, 20 he asked, “Whose picture and title are stamped on it?”
21 “Caesar’s,” they replied.
“Well, then,” he said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.”
The Pharisees were trying to trap Jesus, and thought they would bring him down if he answered ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to their question about taxes. You see, if Jesus said “yes, it’s right to pay taxes to Caesar,” the Pharisees would say he was opposed to God. If Jesus said, “no, it’s not right to pay taxes,” Herod’s goons would have turned him over for being disobedient. Jesus’ answer revealed their true evil motives and amazed all who were listening.
Should Christians Pay Taxes?
Of course we should. If we want to live in this country (or any other for that matter) we have to pay to support the governance of the land. Will you agree with everything the government does with your money? Not at all! We don’t today, we won’t tomorrow, and they didn’t 2,000 years ago. In fact, their tax revenue was used to fund pagan temples and the high lifestyle of the Roman government – no wonder the question of paying taxes was such a hot topic!
It’s bigger than money
Jesus challenged everyone around him that day with this one statement: “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.” Life isn’t about being in a 10% tax bracket verses a 25% tax bracket. The money we make on earth isn’t going to do us one bit of good when we die.
The only thing that matters is that we give God what belongs to him. It’s not about a percentage of your income – it’s about giving him our life. Jesus made it clear that God doesn’t measure our lives by our tax bracket or the percentage of our tithe/offering; He looks at our hearts to see where our priorities line up.