Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm19970212.htm
MARK: GOSPEL OF THE SERVICE OF CHRIST, GOD'S SERVANT
Part XLVI: Discerning Between Our Tax Liability And The Government's Deeds With Our Tax Payments
Lesson: (1) Since the government in our day requires that we pay Federal Reserve notes in taxes, regardless how well this tender is certified by the U. S. Constitution, since today's government enforces such notes as mediums of exchange for goods & services we enjoy, we must pay them in taxes. (2) Also, regardless if Planned Parenthood benefits from the believer's tax payments, God distinguishes between our paying taxes and our approving of them going to Planned Parenthood, for He view s the collected tax payments as the government's money -- NO LONGER OUR moneys!
- Some Christians find themselves in an incredible spiritual bind when it comes to paying federal taxes: (1) on the one hand, the law requires us to pay taxes with our income; (2) however, (a) that income itself is allegedly via unconstitutional and hence unlawful Federal Reserve notes, and (b) the federal government uses the believer's tax payments to fund institutions like the Pro-abortionist Planned Parenthood group.
- One might advocate that the believer not pay his taxes as he is contributing to sin once his money is used, or that submitting to paying taxes with Federal R eserve notes causes him to contribute to national lawlessness as such notes are not constitutionally legal money. However, not paying taxes can appear to be illegal as one is thus violating the law of the land in violation of 1 Pe ter 1: 13-17.
- Jesus gave us by way of example an answer regarding taxes in Mark 12:13-17:
- Discerning Between Tax Liability And The Government's Deeds With Tax Payments, Mk. 12:13-17.
- When the Pharisees and Herodians came to Jesus with the question about paying taxes to Caesar, they were attempting to corner and thus destroy His credibility in a dilemma in how the Jews viewed taxes:
- The Roman government had made Judaea a Roman province in 6 A.D., requiring every Jew to pay taxes to Caesar by use of the Roman coin, the denarius, Bib. Know. Com., N.T., p. 161-162.
- The problem with the payment was not so much paying taxes as it was the conditions of payment:
- The coin to be used, the denarius, gave honor to Caesar as deity, and seemed to be wrong to the Pharisees to pay the tax lest doing so gave allegiance to an idol and a pagan government, Ibid.
- Conversely, the Herodians favored Roman rule and felt it was insubordinate not to pay the tax, Ibid.
- Accordingly, these opposite parties sought to unite as unseemly bedfellows in catching Jesus between these debated religious and political implications so as to discredit Him, Mark 12:13-15a:
- If Jesus agreed to pay the tax, the Pharisees would say that Jesus was not God's Messiah as He sanctioned willing submission to pagan rulers and to pagan deity due to the coin's inscr iption.
- However, if He did not agree to pay it, the Herodians could charge Jesus with insurrection, bring in the government and have Him bound over for execution.
- Jesus answered the question to reveal for us that God distinguishes between our being liable to pay taxes and what the godless secular government does with the money we use to make tax payments, 12:15b-17:
- Jesus asked for a denarius that was legally required to pay the census tax, Mark 12:15b.
- When they brought him the coin, Jesus asked whose image and inscription was on it, Mark 12:16a.
- The questioners responded that the face and inscription belonged to Caesar, Mark 12:16b.
- Accordingly, Jesus told His questioners that since the coin and all that was on it belonged to Caesar, and since they enjoyed the military and economic advantages of Caesar's reign, they owed payment of Caesar's coin to him, Mark 12:17a. However, payment of the coin did not imply agreement with its inscription that Caesar was a deity, so Jesus told His questioners that they needed to give to the true God their allegiance as God regardless what the coin's inscription declared, Mark 12:17b.
- In essence, Jesus then taught that paying taxes to Rome would not mean they had committed idolatry because the required coin had an idolatrous statement on it! The coin's statement was Caesar's, not their own, and God viewed a Jew's tax payments as a separate action from what the Roman government did with the money that was USED for tax collections!