Have you paid your taxes?
You may be calculating your taxes and getting ready to pay it, or maybe you are hoping to boycott it. After all, you are a free citizen, and you should not be burdened with tax. “I am free!”
Yes! You are free indeed! You are free to express your views, free to make your choice, and you can be free from sin.
However, the latter has not been received by everyone even though it is one of the easiest to achieve.
Even though some societies considered themselves to be democratic which means that the people has a choice in their government, there are still a certain amount of limitation placed on the public. There are laws and regulations that everyone must abide. One of these laws is paying taxes.
Taxes are mandatory to ensure that the government has the funds to build infrastructures and other necessities. Many people try to avoid paying their taxes but eventually the government will catch up with them, and they will have to pay.
You are therefore bonded by the laws of the country to pay your taxes and other government revenues.
One day while Jesus was in Capernaum, the tax collectors who received the temple tax asked Peter if His Master paid taxes to the temple.
They might have perceived that since He was a Teacher and had no fixed income then most naturally He would not have the money to pay the tax. But to their surprise, Peter told them yes He did.
Then Christ asked Peter a strange question. He asked, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take customs and taxes, from their sons or strangers?”
Peter answered, “From strangers.”
Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are free!”
This statement from Christ appeared simple, but it is packed with a wealth of knowledge. The kings’ children are royalties, and so they are free from the bondage of tax.
Likewise, you and I who are part of the family of the King of kings through the blood of Jesus Christ are free from the bondage of sin. Consequently, we should exercise our freedom and refuse to return to the shackles of the slavery of sin.
On another occasion, Jesus was tackled by the Pharisees who were trying to trap Him by asking a very tricky question, “Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”
But Jesus perceived the wickedness of their heart took up a denarius and asked them, “Whose image and inscription is this?”
They replied, “Caesar’s.”
He said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God.”
Note the Pharisees did not ask Him about the things that are due to God but Jesus already knew their thoughts. They did not think that it was right for them to the pay taxes to an oppressive king.
However, Jesus had no intention to get involved in the politics of the country, and He told them that they should indeed pay tax to Caesar because it was the mandatory government law.
The spiritual aspect as it applies to us means that we need to give the physical, materialistic things back to the world, but the spiritual things belong to God.
The Lord does not need our money to appease our guilt or to purchase His blessings. The Lord does not delight in our outward performances or our superficial sacrifices. The Lord delights in obedience, and He wants a heart that is sincere and humble.
When you give to God your full commitment He will give you an open door of blessings and total freedom. The burdens of life that are taxing to strangers (sinners) will not affect you because you are a child of the king.
Additional References: Matthew 22:17-22; Matthew 17:25-26