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Matthew 22:15-21

The Word of God

Then the Pharisees went and plotted to entrap him in what he said. So they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, "Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and teach the way of God in accordance with truth, and show deference to no one; for you do not regard people with partiality. Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?" But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, "Why are you putting me to the test, you hypocrites? Show me the coin used for the tax." And they brought him a denarius. Then he said to them, "Whose head is this, and whose title?" They answered, "The emperor's." Then he said to them, "Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor's, and to God the things that are God's."

Matthew 22:15-21
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Jesus remains free and firm in face of the plots against him by the Pharisees who try to catch him out and find a way to silence him with a barbed question. Is it right to pay taxes to a foreign power? If he says yes, he is against them, his own people. If he says no, they will report him to the Romans and have him arrested. You can see in the text the wisdom of his answer.
    • To be a good citizen and to serve God are not in contradiction, since God works through all human systems and institutions to build the final community of love. God needs me to help build good relationships wherever I find myself.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • A coin has two sides: one identifies the issuing authority; one refers to history or culture. I am made in the image of God, indelibly stamped with God’s character; I bring value to the people among whom I live as I witness to God’s presence and life.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Jesus remains free and firm in face of the plots against him. I ask for his courage to stand up for what is true and just.
    • To be a good citizen and to serve God are not in contradiction, since God works through all human systems and institutions to build the final community of love. God needs me to help build good relationships wherever I find myself.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • People have worked on this reply of Jesus, some hankering for revolution against an oppressive regime, some trying to bolster their conservatism. What is your answer, Lord? You hungered and thirsted for justice, and heard the cry of the poor. In all your preaching you championed the cause of the destitute. But you sought change by peaceful means, even turning the other cheek to violence. And in acknowledging the need to pay tribute, you accepted that a properly run state is preferable to anarchy and jungle law.