Matthew 22: Jesus on Taxes

Matthew 22: Jesus on Taxes February 1, 2011

The religious leaders of Jesus’ time sought a way to trick him. What better way than to involve taxes, right? If Jesus taught taxes should not be paid to Caesar, they had an opportunity to have him arrested.

But what did Jesus say? “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” Amazing! Jesus stumped his opponents by both honoring God and the ruling leader.

What does this say to us today? First, we need to pay our taxes (No cheating, either!). This is especially relevant to Americans at this time of year, but an area often compromised in the pursuit of personal gain.

Second, however, is the concept of honoring God and honoring our governing leaders. Would Jesus really bash Obama in Glen Beck-like fashion? I doubt it. But he would probably be part of the Presidential Prayer Team (as am I). He would likely not be on and instead be promoting Habitat for Humanity (He was a carpenter after all.). He would be more about World Vision than the State of the Union address and more concerned about showing Compassion than being a so-called “Compassionate Conservative.”

So love God, love your neighbor, pay your taxes, respect your governing authorities. Sounds like a plan.


Dillon Burroughs has written, co-written, or edited over 60 books, including the upcoming devotional work Thirst No More (October 2011). He served as an associate editor for The Apologetics Study Bible for Students and is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary. Find out more at

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