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When the scribes and chief priests realized that he had told this parable against them, they wanted to lay hands on him at that very hour, but they feared the people.
So they watched him and sent spies who pretended to be honest, in order to trap him by what he said, so as to hand him over to the jurisdiction and authority of the governor. So they asked him, “Teacher, we know that you are right in what you say and teach, and you show deference to no one, but teach the way of God in accordance with truth. Is it lawful for us to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?” But he perceived their craftiness and said to them,“Show me a denarius. Whose head and whose title does it bear?” They said, “The emperor’s.” He said to them, “Then give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were not able in the presence of the people to trap him by what he said; and being amazed by his answer, they became silent.
The Same Attention
People often spend a lot of time trying to make sure everybody gets their fair share, no more or no less. For example, I know a person who has two children and has worked out, in great detail, what each will get at his death. He wants his estate to be equally divided; therefore, his plans are constantly changing because of fluctuations in both the stock and property market. You see, he wants to make sure that each gets the same inheritance. And even though I doubt that most people are so diligent in keeping track of this kind of stuff, I think we’re all very aware of who gets what. For example, nearly everyone I know complains that the government gets too much, as though the benefits they receive as an American citizens in no way justifies the taxes they have to pay. But even those few who honestly feel as though they’re under-taxed, and there are actually more than one might assume, even they are very aware of how much is going out.
But there’s one area where we may not be nearly as diligent and the idea of “fair share” doesn’t play a very big role, and I’m talking about what we offer God. In fact, sometimes what we offer our heavenly Father is either an after-thought or something we think about only when we have extra. But when we consider that the whole creation belongs to him and everything we have is somehow linked to him, our attention should probably shift a little bit. In other words, what we might offer God should probably get the same attention as what we might leave our children and how much we pay in taxes.