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Luke 20 English Standard Version (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.



  1. Jesus explained that the demands of the state and the demands of God are not the same. He suggests that it is possible to meet both at the same time, but he never suggests that obeying one is exactly the same as obeying the other.  In fact, to His followers then, very soon, obedience to God would mean disobedience to the Roman emperor.  The early church has defied the Jewish authorities, “We must obey God rather than any human authority” (Acts 5:29).
  2. On the demand of the state of personal income tax, and the demand of tithing and offering for God’s church, how obedient are you?
  3. In giving yourself to God, are you in the 15%, 30%, 50% or 100% “tax bracket”?