Start with Posture of Silence and Solitude (2 minutes)
Read Scripture: Luke 20:20-26 Paying Taxes to Caesar
Keeping a close watch on him, they sent spies, who pretended to be sincere. They hoped to catch Jesus in something he said, so that they might hand him over to the power and authority of the governor. So the spies questioned him: “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach what is right, and that you do not show partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”
He saw through their duplicity and said to them, “Show me a denarius. Whose image and inscription are on it?”
“Caesar’s,” they replied.
He said to them, “Then give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”
They were unable to trap him in what he had said there in public. And astonished by his answer, they became silent.
Even as followers of Jesus, we still have obligations to keep to the government. Here Jesus is having a conversation with spies who ask him about where his loyalties lie. Jesus is able to define their obligations to the government and to God without conflict. These “spies” used flattery to try to trick Jesus into saying something that he could be arrested for. The Jews were enraged to have to pay taxes to Rome and support a government that valued things that were contrary to their values and beliefs but they weren’t above having Jesus arrested for saying the same thing.
Questions to ponder:
- How can we hold the priorities before us and still uphold what God has called us to value?
- Given this passage, what is the best way for you to pray today?
End with Posture of Silence and Solitude (2 minutes)