Bible Society of South Africa

At work with God – Day 11

Pay your taxes.

Bible text(s)

20So they looked for an opportunity. They bribed some men to pretend they were sincere, and they sent them to trap Jesus with questions, so that they could hand him over to the authority and power of the Roman Governor. 21These spies said to Jesus, “Teacher, we know that what you say and teach is right. We know that you pay no attention to anyone's status, but teach the truth about God's will for people. 22Tell us, is it against our Law for us to pay taxes to the Roman Emperor, or not?”

23But Jesus saw through their trick and said to them, 24“Show me a silver coin. Whose face and name are these on it?”

“The Emperor's,” they answered.

25So Jesus said, “Well, then, pay the Emperor what belongs to the Emperor, and pay God what belongs to God.”

Luke 20:20-25GNBOpen in Bible reader

6That is also why you pay taxes, because the authorities are working for God when they fulfil their duties. 7Pay, then, what you owe them; pay them your personal and property taxes, and show respect and honour for them all.

Romans 13:6-7GNBOpen in Bible reader

The Bible is very clear on the matter of paying tax. Because the Jews were under Roman rule, the question of tax in New Testament times was a very sensitive political issue. However, even in this instance the right of the government to levy tax is acknowledged by Christ while reminding us at the same time that we also have an obligation towards God.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.20.15
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