Lesson: Paying Taxes to Caesar

Luke 20:20-26

Why did they ask this question?  If Jesus said it's OK to pay taxes to Caesar, he would offend the religious people by admitting that Caesar is their true ruler instead of God.  If Jesus said don't pay, he could be turned in to the Roman authorities and punished.  Clearly either answer would have been problematic for Jesus.  If he said pay to both, then he would have to give a good explanation, for one cannot serve two lords.

The key question to this passage: What things are Caesar's and what are God's.  In the past few parables, we've discovered that our lives are God's, and so our focus should be on how to give God what's rightfully His rather than fighting over what to give to God and what we can keep as "ours."

In the case where something may not seem to be making sense when we say we're yielding it to God, we can consider it as being done or chosen to glorify God or at least consistent with the Word of God.

Careers --

1.)    If there's a calling, then follow it.

2.)    If there's no clear calling, then choose an occupation that glorifies God and furthers the goal of His Kingdom.

3.)    Use what you make from your careers to support the works of God.

Marriage --

1.)    If God shows you the right person, then follow it.

2.)    It's unlikely that God will make you marry something against your will.  You may have to take time to know that person, but eventually you will love that person and understand that he/she is the best for you.

3.)    Let the process honor God also -- no pre-marital sex, etc.

Children --

1.)    Failed parents can rarely bring honor to God.

2.)    Teach them the ways of the Lord so they can follow it too.

This lesson was developed by George Huang.  Got a question or want to publish this lesson?  E-mail me.

Last updated: 11/1/2003