15Then the Pharisees went and plotted to entrap him in what he said.16So they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and teach the way of God in accordance with truth, and show deference to no one; for you do not regard people with partiality. 17Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?” 18But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why are you putting me to the test, you hypocrites? 19Show me the coin used for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius. 20Then he said to them, “Whose head is this, and whose title?” 21They answered, “The emperor’s.” Then he said to them, “Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”22When they heard this, they were amazed; and they left him and went away. (Matthew 22:15-22, NRSV)
When I read this passage it made me think of the scene from Return of the Jedi, when Admiral Akbar says, “Its a trap!”
Jesus knew the Pharisees were trying to trap him by saying you shouldn’t pay taxes. But Jesus asked for a coin and asked whose picture was on it. Then he said Give to the emperor what is the emperor’s and give to God what is God’s.
Seems pretty easy. But is it?
We need to support our government in as much as we give them there due but also keep ourselves aligned with where God is leading and calling us.
God comes first in our lives. So give God what is God’s.