With the US Presidential election nearly upon us, Donald Trump’s tax returns have finally seen the light of day. On the surface it would appear that he hasn’t paid quite as much tax as would have been expected from one so wealthy. But I’m no accountant so I hesitate to pass judgement. It does, however, raise a question for all of us over whether we can put our hands on our hearts and say that we have paid all that we owe.
Jesus was once challenged on this issue and asked whether or not it was right to pay taxes to Caesar. The question was a trap and whichever way he answered his accusers hoped to get him in trouble. But Jesus replied by saying, ‘Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s’. Now Roman coins all bore the image of Caesar and so technically they all belonged to him, making the payment of tax entirely justified. So, Jesus used the challenge to make the point that as human beings we are made in the image of God. We’re created to reflect his image of love, compassion and generosity and we only become fully human when we give ourselves back to him.
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