Back in the day when Jesus walked the streets of Jerusalem, taxes were a hated part of life, especially by the Jews. It reminded them they were subjected to foreign (Roman) rule, just like God had warned them if they did not obey and follow him.
Nothing has changed over 2,000 years. No matter which country we live in, we still hate taxes. And woe to us if we don’t pay them on time.
In one incident the religious leaders tried to entangle Jesus in his words by asking, “Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” Jesus answered them, “Show me the coin for the tax.” They gave him the coin, and Jesus continued, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They answered, “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.”
Instead of trapping Jesus in what they thought would be an offense against the religious establishment or the Jewish authorities, depending on how he answered their question, they marveled instead at his answer and walked away. (See Matthew 22:15-22)
Come April 15, a collective groan goes up all over this country. Why do we resist paying taxes so? I think it’s because we were born to freedom. We know, deep down, we were meant to live without paying tribute to anybody except to the God who made us.
In truth, we owe much more than just taxes. We owe our very being to God. He gave us life and breath, but instead of acknowledging it, we resist Him with all our might and wills. Every newborn comes into the world with this predisposition, and lives and dies with it, unless some greater power from the outside invades that life and draws him to God.
That resistance is called sin and it has contaminated the human race. However, God has provided a way to come to Him, through his Son Yeshua (Jesus). Jesus lived a perfect life conforming to God’s laws with all his might and will, and also went to the cross as our sin bearer and died in our place. Anyone who believes this and places his faith in Yeshua’s finished work on the cross is declared debt-free in the sight of God.
We should heed what Jesus said to the religious leaders – we should pay taxes to our government, and also give to God the things that belong to him, namely ourselves in faith to him.
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” – John 8:33 ESV
Won’t you make April 15 the beginning of a debt-free life?
Talk to me.