“Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?” vs. 17
The Pharisees knew that if they could get Jesus to say something about taxes he’d be bound to offend someone. In those days everyone had an opinion…the people thought they were paying too much and the government kept demanding more. And now, even though times have changed, the heated conversations continue. There’s no doubt that taxation can become repressive…and corrupt leaders are regularly caught misusing taxpayer money. On the other hand as we seek to develop strong and vibrant communities with good schools and solid infrastructure it’s the duty of every citizen to participate in providing needed revenues. Followers of Jesus are deeply embedded in the world and will, like any citizen, take part in the process and gladly pay their share. It’s one of the ways in which we can pool our resources to support needed services, and also lift up the poor and the needy. We do the same in our congregations when we voluntarily offer a proportion of our income in support of our common mission and ministry. What we couldn’t possible do as individuals we are able to do when we give generously and often as part of a congregation. In these last months people have gladly given millions of dollars to support disaster relief and provide aid to those who have suffered so much. We’ve made a major difference! God has given us so much…and whether by taxes or donations, we have an obligation to share.
Thought for the Day: What percentage of my income do I voluntarily set aside for others?