Death and taxes – the only two certainties, if you subscribe to the old adage commonly attributed to Benjamin Franklin.
Today, I will submit to you an alternative, much more powerful adage. But let’s come to that later. First, let’s take a closer look at Luke 20. Here, the religious leaders continue their efforts to discredit Jesus:
21 “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you speak and teach what is right and are not influenced by what others think. You teach the way of God truthfully. 22 Now tell us—is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”
Let’s pause here. Their desire was to confront Jesus with a taxing dilemma of governmental proportions. Any response that was completely detached from the earthly realm (e.g., “Don’t worry about Roman taxes”) could be grounds for arrest and imprisonment. The response Jesus gave stupefied these antagonists:
24 “Show me a Roman coin. Whose picture and title are stamped on it?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. 25 “Well then,” He said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.”
In very few words, Jesus affirmed that while on this planet, we are subject to both our earthly structure AND our loving and merciful Father in Heaven. God’s perspective is clear: paying our taxes is a baseline requirement. Fine. So, how about we replace that tired old fear- and dread-inducing death-and-taxes saying, with a new motto which I think is more powerful and purposeful:
“Eternal life and taxes!”
Let us shed fear of death and live boldly today with the blessed assurance of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. In Christ’s statement in Luke 20:25, it strikes me that as sons and daughters of the One, True, Living God, we are to be physically “grounded” on His created terra firma here in Silicon Valley. Yet, at the same time, we are meant to be spiritually “flying” for Kingdom purpose.
As you are simultaneously grounded and flying today, consider: Are you delivering to God what belongs to God? What are you holding or hoarding that does not belong to you?