Matthew 22:15–22 (ESV)
Paying Taxes to Caesar
15 Then the Pharisees went and plotted how to entangle him in his words. 16 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. 17 Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” 18 But
Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? 19 Show me the coin for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius. 20 And Jesus said to them, “Whose
likeness and inscription is this?” 21 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.”
22 When they heard it, they marveled. And they left him and went away.
Jesus’ followers owe loyalty and obedience not only to Him, but also to the human rulers that God Himself has established. Though Christians may be tempted to avoid taxes and shirk civic responsibilities, they must “render to Caesar.”
Civil authority and good governmental leaders are beneficial means whereby God blesses us.
I pray: “Thou who art ever nigh, Guarding with watchful eye, To Thee aloud we cry: God save the State!” Amen. (LSB 965:2)
Edward A. Engelbrecht,
The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 1631.