v. 20-26 The religious leaders sent spies who pretended to be honest to trick Jesus. The spies asked, "Teacher, we know that you speak and teach what is right, and that you do not show partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?" Jesus seeing their hearts replied, "Show me a denarius. Whose portrait and inscription are on it?" They replied, "Caesar's" so Jesus told them "Then give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's." The spies were unable to trap Jesus and were amazed by His answer, they became silent.
The leaders were trying to get Jesus in trouble so they had an excuse to turn Him in to the Roman authorities. Look at the way the spies talked as if they were complimenting Jesus. They spoke the truth, yet underneath their hearts were wicked. There is a big difference between what people speak and their actions. If the two do not line up then be wary of them. The topic of taxes had to be one of the most talked about in the region. The Jews had to pay taxes to Roman which was to support their pagan government and gods. Tax collectors charges exorbitant rates and kept the extra money for themselves. If Jesus said they should pay taxes then He would look like a traitor to their nation and religion. If He said that they should not pay taxes then He could be reported to Rome as a rebel. This supports our responsibility to pay taxes whether we like it our not.
On our coins it says "In God we trust," yet do we really? If we follow God then we are obligated to both God and government. If they conflict then we are to follow God before government. That does not mean to disrespect our leaders, we are to pray for them no matter what our views. We are to be good citizens, obey laws and be respectful to authority. In the bible God sometimes used non-Jewish leaders to accomplish His plans, so why do we think He couldn't do the same now? There are those who want to secede from our country which is an insane idea. Maybe if our leaders were prayed for instead of judged they might make better decisions. Our political atmosphere in this country is appalling. We have news channels that have an agenda, that spout opinion instead of facts. There has been such disrespect for our president and other leaders, this is not what our founders would have wanted. Our job as Christians is to pray for them. We are to rely on God, not the government because it is full of sinners. When we rely on our leaders they will disappoint us at some point in time. God is showing us that we are not to rely on them. I liked when the pastor at church said that God is not a Republican. You can't put God in a political box. I call my self a Republicrat, a mix of two parties. I believe both parties are very wrong on certain topics and right on others. The political climate will only get worse so we are to pray and trust in God.