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"What thinkest Thou? Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar or not? Matthew 22:15-22      

The Pharisees hated Jesus because His teaching of forgiveness by grace was opposed to their own teaching of salvation by works. They determined that He must die to save their own position and doctrine. They took their time, for multitudes of people held with Jesus, and the Pharisee did not dare to oppose them too much. Still, at every opportunity, they tried to entangle Him, both to discredit Him with the people and to find a good accusation against Him.      

Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar or not? they asked Jesus. It was a trick question. If Jesus said Yes, the people who hated the Roman rule, might turn against Him. If He said No, He could be accused of being an enemy of the Roman government. Jesus called for a coin, and asked whose picture and superscription it contained. He was told it was Caesar's.  He said: "Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's"      

Jesus said in effect: "You have a government. Obey that government. Any rightful government can command obedience. On the other hand, God is above man as well as above government. Obey God first of all. If the laws of government are not against God's Law, obey the government. But if they conflict with God's Law, obey God." The Pharisees marveled at His wisdom.      

Christian friends, If we follow Jesus' direction in this matter, it will help us to be good citizens and to serve both our God and our government with a good conscience.  

The powers ordained by Thee With heavenly wisdom bless; May they Thy servants be' And rule in righteousness O LORD, stretch forth Thy might hand And guard and bless our native land.  

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY - Looking for a  leader? Look to the LORD        

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