Then the Pharisees went and plotted how to entangle him in his words. 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. Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? Show me the coin for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius. And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” 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.” When they heard it, they marveled. And they left him and went away. —Matthew 22:15-22

            Those that asked the question “Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” did so to test Him.  Jesus said of those asking the question that they were malicious and hypocrites, but He still answered their question.  I wonder why Jesus said they were hypocrites— were they not paying Caesar the taxes owed to him?  They surely were not giving to God what was due Him!

            But how are you and I doing in the areas of paying the taxes due and giving to God what He desires?  Are we being faithful or are we being hypocritical.  A hypocrite is one putting on a mask and playing a part— appearing to something they are not.  Are we masking and playing a part rather than being what God desires and doing what He desires?  That is a challenging thought…

            Again, are you giving to the government what is due them?  Interestingly, Jesus did not debate the percentage the government was owed.  He just said to give it to them.  He also did not say what to give God, but only to give what is His.  It is all His!  Let us be faithful with His desire for us in all areas of the life He has given us— our own individual life and all that means, our spouse’s life if we are married, our children’s lives if we have them, our job, our finances, our education…  Let us give to Him what He desires in those areas and all areas of our lives.

Dear Father I am so grateful for all that I am and have.  I know it is all because of You.  Now may I be faithful with all that You have given me stewardship over.  May this be so by the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Your Son Jesus. 

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