The scribes and the chief priests sought to lay hands on him at that very hour, for they perceived that he had told this parable against them, but they feared the people. So they watched him and sent spies, who pretended to be sincere, that they might catch him in something he said, so as to deliver him up to the authority and jurisdiction of the governor. So they asked him, “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach rightly, and show no partiality, but truly teach the way of God. Is it lawful for us to give tribute to Caesar, or not?” But he perceived their craftiness, and said to them, “Show me a denarius. Whose likeness and inscription does it have?” They said, “Caesar’s.” He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were not able in the presence of the people to catch him in what he said, but marvelling at his answer they became silent.
Comment: The leaders feared the crowd, many of whom were on Jesus side. The crowd liked the miracles and had been recently astonished with the raising of Lazarus from the dead. The Jews hated their Roman Overlords, but were still prepared to try and get the Romans on their side against Jesus. Then the threat of the crowd and their potential to riot would become a toothless tiger. How could they get the Roman Governor on their side? Taxes! If only they get could Him to say that they shouldn’t pay Roman taxes, they would win! So they tried to ‘butter Him up’ and get Him to say something like ‘Your responsibility is to God, not man’. Jesus had already told them that the first commandment was about their relationship with God. Then they would have had evidence to report to Pilate, the Governor. Jesus was onto them! ‘A Roman coin, please. Whose name is on it?’ It was Caesar’s money as marked by the image and inscription. Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is His. Once more they’d failed to trap Him.
Prayer: Help me to get the balance in my dual responsibilities – to You and my earthly masters.