Saturday, May 7, 2011

Render The Question?...

13 Later they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Jesus to catch him in his words. 14 They came to him and said, “Teacher, we know that you are a man of integrity. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not? 15 Should we pay or shouldn’t we?”

But Jesus knew their hypocrisy. “Why are you trying to trap me?” he asked. “Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.” 16 They brought the coin, and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”

“Caesar’s,” they replied.

17 Then Jesus said to them, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”

And they were amazed at him.

-Mark 12: 13-17

So they were amazed at Jesus completely sidestepping the question?
Easy audience!

After all a tax is "a compulsory financial contribution imposed by a government to raise revenue, levied on the income or property of persons or organizations, on the production costs or sales prices of goods and services, etc."

Jesus's answer had nothing to do with the question which was whether or not they should repeatedly surrender a portion of their property to the current governing power.

A tax meant that they would have to hand over a piece of their (physical) property, furniture, livestock (cows, chickens, pigs, goats) etc.. or that they would have to labor specifically in order to raise funds in exchange for "pictures of Caesar" to give back to Caesar's representatives.

They weren't asking Jesus that if they borrowed Caesar's truck if they had to return it.

They were asking, "hey, is it fair that Caesar drags us down to a garage and makes us change the tires on his truck?"

Never the less, Jesus answered, "Well, whose name is on the receipt for the tires?"