When the chief priests of the Grand Old Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they realized that he was talking about them. And although they sought to have him arrested and silenced, they feared the crowds, who held him to be a prophet….
So they sent to him some of their politicos and some of their pundits to trap him in a gaffe. They came and said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are honest and impartial. For you are not swayed by appearances, but truly teach the way of God. Is it lawful to pay income taxes to Washington, or not? Should we pay them, or should we not?”
But, knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, “Get out a dollar and let us look at it. Show me the currency to be used for the tax.”
They showed him a dollar. And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?”
They said “Washington’s.”
Then he said to them, “Therefore, render to Washington the things that are Washington’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
When they heard this, they marveled at his words; they left him and went away. But they kept on exploiting tax loopholes. Because the allure of coin, and the fear of letting even a single coin escape their grasp, held more weight in their hearts than Jesus’ words.