Luke 20:19–26 (ESV)
Paying Taxes to Caesar
19 The scribes and the chief priests sought to lay hands on him at that very hour, for they perceived that he had told this parable against them, but they feared the people. 20 So
they watched him and sent spies, who pretended to be sincere, that they might catch him in something he said, so as to deliver him up to the authority and jurisdiction of the governor. 21 So they asked him, “Teacher,
we know that you speak and teach rightly, and show no partiality, but truly teach the way of God. 22 Is it lawful for us to give tribute to Caesar, or not?” 23 But he perceived their craftiness,
and said to them, 24 “Show me a denarius. Whose likeness and inscription does it have?” They said, “Caesar’s.” 25 He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 26 And they were not able in the presence of the people to catch him in what he said, but
marveling at his answer they became silent.
Jesus outwits His opponents and teaches the proper relationship between earthly authority and God. Not even the legitimate claims of
government usurp our loyalty to God. Jesus’ perfect allegiance to His Father brought the state’s condemnation, that He might forgive our divided allegiance.
Lord, grant that we may serve You faithfully as citizens in this world. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 1759.