Gospel: Matthew 22:15-21
The Pharisees went off and plotted how they might entrap Jesus in speech.
They sent their disciples to him, with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are truthful man and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. And you are not concerned with anyone’s opinion, for you do not regard a person’s status.
Tell us, then, what is your opinion: Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?”
Knowing their malice, Jesus said, “Why are you testing me hypocrites?
Show me the coin that pays the census tax.” Then they handed him the Roman coin.
He said to them, “Whose image is this and whose inscription?”
They replied, “Caesar’s”. At that, he said to them, “Then pay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.”
Today’s Gospel talks about who will a person serve. In the Gospel, it tackles about serving the emperor. To serve the emperor is the same thing as serving the Lord with all your heart. Give your tax to the emperor because that is what is asked from you and give to God what is due to Him. What do we mean by “what is due to Him”? It simply means we have to offer our lives by serving God righteously. We will try to ask ourselves: Am I paying my taxes honestly? Do I help my brother and sisters in times of need? Do I give glory to the Lord my God in every way I can? Am I living my Christian life out of love and service to my family and community? Do I give to God what is due to him?
Paying taxes is not literally as paying your tax to BIR. In a Christian setting, taxes means giving God praise and glory by helping others and offering your life in the service of your fellowmen. It means to give back to God what He wanted from you as His sons and daughters.
The Pharisee in the Gospel is a symbol of the devil. It always finds ways to mislead us from the good path we are trekking in. Most of the time if we are too gullible and weak, we are tempted to betray our Lord God and fall prey to the depths of hell. But, if we have a strong faith and we stand firm through every test that the devil is plotting against us, then surely God will lift us up and we will never again be shaken by the devil’s deceiving ways.
The Gospel is an eye-opener for each and every one of us. It simply reminds us to always pay a little of our time due to Him and offer Him praises and do our responsibilities as Christians. Christianity is only a word without effort and deed. In everything we do, first and foremost let us offer it to God. Even just by waking up in the morning, we have to thank God for the new day He has given us and give thanks for every blessing we receive. By that simple act, you are already giving Him what is due to Him. We must always remember this cliché “God, in everything I do, let not others praise me but You.” So, offer everything to God and for sure your life will be filled with blessings. Happy Church day everyone!
In the Gospel of Matthew 22:15-21, we find a passage that has profound implications for our faith. In Matthew 22:15-21, we encounter a situation. Pharisees and Herodians want to trap Jesus with a question about paying taxes to Caesar. Little did they know that their question would lead to a profound teaching. It is about our dual citizenship in both the earth and heaven.
The Pharisees and Herodians were trying to put Jesus in a no-win situation. If He said it was lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, He risked alienating the Jewish people who resented Roman rule. Jesus, in His infinite wisdom and divine insight responded that question with command. “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”
This statement serves as a reminder for us as Christians today. We live in this world, and we are bound by its laws and responsibilities. Our primary citizenship is in the Kingdom of God. We must render to Caesar what belongs to him, we must also render to God what belongs to Him. This is the true meaning of the gospel from Matthew 22:15-21.
What belongs to God? Our hearts, our souls, our worship, our love, and our allegiance. We are bound to give ourselves to God, to follow His commandments, to love one another. We also need to seek justice, and to live lives that reflect His glory. We must acknowledge God’s sovereignty in every aspect of our lives. We must and allow Him to be the guiding force behind our decisions, actions, and values.
– Clea | Helpline PH