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One Line in the Bible They Need You to Ignore

one-line-bible

There’s one particular line in the Bible that is conspicuously shunned. It sits openly in Luke’s gospel, but it is nearly always glossed over… mentioned briefly and grudgingly at best.

On one hand, I condemn this on grounds of intellectual honesty, but on the other, I can very well understand why people run away from it. Believing this line would turn anyone into a radical, and that could be dangerous… and indeed it has been dangerous.

Today I will be ill-mannered enough to address this line. But first, please understand that Luke records these words as coming from Jesus’ mouth. That’s a fact, and no amount of evasion will change it.

Here It Is

The verse I’m referring to is found in Luke 16:15 of the New Testament, and here’s how it reads in the King James translation:

… that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.

For comparison’s sake, here’s how the more modern Revised Standard Version renders it:

… what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.

I could go through other versions, but you get the idea: What is held highest among men is abomination to God.

It’s quite possible to roll right past this line, but only if you never ask, “What is most highly esteemed among men?” If we dare ask that question, we run into trouble – big, ugly, hairy trouble.

Shall We Be Brave?

We all enjoy looking brave and being thought brave, but are we ready to do the hard things that make bravery real? Most people find excuses to skate past such things; they’re scary and risky, after all. But so long as we do that, we’ll never be clear in our own minds that we are truly brave.

So, here’s your big opportunity, especially if you’re a believer of any sort. This is a chance to face ridicule and shame, and to defy it: to be brave.

Humans are great at avoiding these moments, by the way. They’re particularly brilliant when making up strings of excuses that nullify the whole subject.

But presuming you’re ready to do this, here’s what you need to determine:

What is most highly esteemed among men?

That’s it. And the answer, if we face it rather than dodge it, is astonishingly clear:

There is one type of entity on Earth – and one only – that enjoys this position:

  • It takes a significant percentage of whatever humans in its vicinity earn, by threat and by force, and is held to be righteous while practicing this extortion.

  • It decrees what people are allowed to do or not do.

  • It pursues and punishes people who do not obey their decrees, then is held to be righteous while forcing their will on people.

  • It orders millions of young people into fights to the death.

  • It is held to be righteous while refusing to inform the about-to-kill-and-die young people of the reasons for their death and dismemberment.

  • It is held to be righteous while making decisions that will affect the lives of millions, but without letting them know the reasons for those decisions.

We all know what class of entity fits this description, but we also hesitate to admit it… which only confirms its position.

There is no other entity on Earth that can come close to the position held by our “unmentionable” group. In the worst days of the medieval Catholic Church – even as imagined by those who hate it – they could not have made claims as grand as these.

And yet, our Unmentionables enjoy all this esteem and are reflexively defended on all sides. Without any question, they stand alone at the top. They are, very clearly, the “most esteemed among men.”

“But, But, But…”

So, it couldn’t mean that? Was Jesus confused that day? Was he playing a sick joke? Was he merely a crank?

If history is any guide, many of the responses to this article will have the precise goal of making this line go away. But examining its context, the line stands (Jesus was talking to people who sought status from men). And by linguistic analysis it stands; the word for “highly esteemed” is also found in both Matthew and Luke where Jesus is taken to a “high” mountain and offered all the kingdoms of the world.

So, who on Earth has more status and dominance than our Unmentionables? The answer is, “No one.”

We can pretend that Jesus was demented, or we can presume that he was a crazed radical, or we can assume other nasty things… but if we accept him as anything more than that, we have to take this line seriously… unless we willingly blind ourselves of course.

Jesus put himself at risk when he said this, Luke put himself at risk by writing it, and we face risk by championing it today. That sucks, but that’s the way the world is.

We can face this or not, but no one who evades it can honestly call him or herself a follower of Jesus.

* * * * *

If you’ve enjoyed Free-Man’s Perspective or A Lodging of Wayfaring Men, you’re going to love Paul Rosenberg’s new novel, The Breaking Dawn.

It begins with an attack that crashes the investment markets, brings down economic systems, and divides the world. One part is dominated by mass surveillance and massive data systems: clean cities and empty minds… where everything is assured and everything is ordered. The other part is abandoned, without services, with limited communications, and shoved 50 years behind the times… but where human minds are left to find their own bearings.

You may never look at life the same way again.

Get it now at Amazon ($18.95) or on Kindle: ($5.99)

TheBreakingDawn

* * * * *

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

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  • northernraven

    Perhaps I hang out with the wrong crowd, but I know of no one who esteems the government.

    • Paul Rosenberg

      Do you know people who think it’s the right thing to pay taxes or obey regulations? Or who sing national anthems? Or who pledge allegiance? Or who wave flags? Or who support the Reds? Or who support the Blues?

      • northernraven

        Not really, but then I’m Canadian and we aren’t burdened
        with patriotism.

        Ours is a more socialist style of government so it’s more in
        our faces. We grumble about regulations, reluctantly pay taxes and either
        tolerate or loathe our various levels of governments.

        I don’t claim to speak for everyone; just the people I know. Beyond that would be conjecture.

        • Paul Rosenberg

          And the purpose of your comment was…?

          • northernraven

            The purpose of my comment was that not everyone esteems
            government (and I might add country, nation, community, etc.)

            Tolerance may be consent, but it’s a far cry from esteem.

          • Paul Rosenberg

            The proof comes when you stand on a downtown street corner, holding a sign reading, “God Hates The Government.”

          • Scott Johnson

            Well, Jesus drove the money changers out of his Father’s house(the temple). To quote their prophet”I care not who governs a country, as long as I can control the currency” or something similar. Sounds like they rule over the government. Yup, you must be talking about the same people who crucified the Lord. They control over half of the assets on their mother earth and will kill the body ofChrist very soon. The Synagogue of Satan.

          • Steven Hotho

            The body of Christ was killed once, never again.

          • artista

            He’s talking about the church. But you already knew that.

          • artista

            If God hates the government whey does the bible say this?: Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Your entire article seems to fall apart on Romans 13:1

          • Jonny B-H

            Or better yet, I wonder what would happen if you went to that downtown street corner and burned a red and white piece of cloth with a maple leaf on it. I know your southern neighbors are more well-known for getting uptight about flag burning, but I bet burning one in Canada would get a few people riled up too.

    • GlomOnToMe

      northernraven, I’m with you. I’m thinking that what men really esteem (i.e. worship) is sports.

  • Mercy Otis Warren

    I think Mr. Rosenberg’s point can be further explained by asking this: how many people do you know that intellectually embrace “anarchy”? How many define the act of taxation as stealing? I mean lots of people will awkwardly giggle and say taxes are too much, but do you know anyone who categorically equates taxation with the crime of robbery? I know a few but not many. Most people exalt government as long as it is their kind of government. They exalt money and the power it provides. No one exerts more power or has more money than modern governments. I always hoped that when Jesus said to pay unto Ceasar what is Ceasars and to God what is God’s, he was kind of saying (with tongue in cheek) Don’t give that bastard anything; give everything to my father!

    • azlibrabbit

      I don’t think His tongue was in His cheek when He said that, Mercy. He meant exactly that. Did Caesar create that metal, or did God? Caesar laid claim to it by impressing his image upon it, but that made it no less a creation of the Lord.

      Jesus was saying, IMHO, that He had no need of Caesars gelt, because He was wholly of God.

      We always turn things to our own meager understanding, instead of trying to think in terms defined by the Prince of Peace, don’t we?

  • Peter Gasperini

    It takes a notably evolved individual to function at the level of the issues raised in Freedman’s Perspective. Such individual’s are probably a fraction of one percent of the mass public. Considering this, it seems a miracle that man has managed to progress as far as he has.in the civilizations he has created.

    • Tecumseh1768

      It was a fraction of one percent who actually drove the advances in humanity such as science, the arts, and so on. The rest of us have just been along for the ride.

  • Joseph Bolz

    This article seems an odd tangent it’s author went on. I hold truth and justice, in high esteem. Also those that desire it would have my respect. Jesus said those that hunger and thirst for righteousness shall be satisfied. I don’t get this article, unless we are talking sports talking heads. Nobody exalts government except government and whoever they have duped. Jesus must have meant government is an abomination then. Oh yah, the Yankees are an abomination too:)

    • http://texnat.org/ Texas Chris

      Most people exalt government more than they know. They stand for the national anthem, hand over heart. Face the flag and pledge allegiance. Stand when the president enters. Genuflect to elected officials. Tremble before the judge in court. That’s what the author is talking about.

  • Matthew Beck

    The Son of Man also said to render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and St. Paul makes obedience to all lawful authority a strict and non-negotiable condition of the Christian life. Neither St. Thomas’ philosophy nor Dante’s poetry are at all comprehensible without an antecedent acceptance of an Aristotelian polity as per se the correct and natural form of the human community. Jesus Christ himself is crowned with the title King of kings and Lord of lords. Christianity is not anti-government in the anarchic sense.

    When Jesus spoke of that which is highly esteemed among men, He was referring to those things that men use to justify themselves before others, such as money, knowledge, or power for its own sake. Anyone who has their heart set only on these things is an abomination to God, because his heart is inflamed by the creature and inside himself he pays no heed to the Creator. He walks in his own pridefulness, feeling not his abject dependency on God Who is ruler over all.

    • Mercy Otis Warren

      How does Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas and Dante address the coercive and violent nature of funding a government via involuntary taxation? And how do they justify it in light of the 8th Commandment and Christianity’s rejection of an “end justifies the means” morality? I have read all three and can not seem to remember how they treat this topic. Is it as simple as being paternal in nature? That is, in an aristocracy, some people are born to rule (like parents) and some are born to be ruled (like children)? If it is, how does this square with the Lockean system of freedom and private property? And which of these two systems is more consistent with the natural law? St. Paul’s take on obedience to earthly authority does seem as clear as it is inexplicable. Certainly he would not maintain that the German’s had a moral obligation to submit to Hitler, or the Chinese to Mao; would he?

    • Steven Hotho

      This is very well said from orthodox Christianity. Christians can live with almost any government, as long as they exalt God above any government and, if they exalt God, they will extinguish pride. It’s a simple, but almost impossible dogma.

    • http://texnat.org/ Texas Chris

      “Render unto Caesar” was not telling people to pay their taxes. The Pharisees were forbidden from carrying a graven image of any man. It was considered idolatry. What does Jesus ask them? “Show me your money.” They had Caesar’s image on it, so Jesus said if you’re going to accept Caesar’s money, you have to pay Caesar’s tax.
      .
      Further, he said render unto God what is Gods. What did Caesar make? Nothing. What did God make? Everything. Render everything to God.

      • artista

        Wrong. He was indeed telling people to pay their tax. How does on render everything to God? Those are just words. You gonna send your tax payment to heaven?

        • http://texnat.org/ Texas Chris

          See, this is what the author was talking about. You don’t even question the authority of the government to tax you. God gives you everything, all of creation, and all he asks back is 10% of your increase. The government demands over half of your earnings, and you can’t imagine life without them. That’s simple idolatry.

  • TimothyPMadden

    Hi: I really appreciate the article and the discussion but I would feel it necessary to point out a glaring misconception on the nature of taxation. Copied below is the first few paragraphs from a somewhat longer piece on the subject. Hope it helps.

    ________

    Taxation is not theft. Taxation used to be theft when the medium of exchange was gold and silver coins/bullion. But for about 100 years now we (here in Canada) have been operating under an accounting system based on Canadian dollars defined and denominated as evidence of Crown debt. Same basic system in most other countries, and it applies equally to electronic money as paper money.

    The most essential and material difference is that when the money (evidence of Crown debt) is recaptured by the Crown as debtor, it ceases to have any legal existence as money, and becomes just so much paper or linen in the warehouse. Legally and in fact the money is “withdrawn from issue”. The Crown/government gains its financial benefit when it spends the money into circulation and cannot therefore record another gain when it comes back in.

    The function of taxation cannot therefore be to raise money for government because the said money is technically destroyed. Stop. There.

    In 26 years of research the most significant and insightful observation that I have encountered from a court is:

    “A “systematized delusion” is one based on a false premise, pursued by a logical process of reasoning to an insane conclusion ; there being one central delusion, around which other aberrations of the mind converge.” Taylor v. McClintock, 112 S.W. 405, 412, 87 Ark. 243. (West’s Judicial Words and Phrases (1914)).

    In the 14 years since my initial exposure to the concept I have not been able to positively identify a single area of broadly-defined government that does not qualify as a systematized delusion.

    And the mother of all false premises is: Taxation raises money for government.

    Assume that each of ten million households in Canada has $10,000 in cash for a total of $100 billion of broadly-defined working capital and/or ready purchasing power. Now assume that the government of Canada invokes a special emergency tax to confiscate it all. Now the ten million households have zero working capital and/or disposable income and the government has a really big warehouse full of paper.

    All that happens is that the government’s financial position, per se, does not change while the working capital and purchasing power of the People is destroyed. In practice the position (financial capacity) of the government would in fact be commensurately reduced also because its capacity to issue new money as evidence of its own debt would be severely curtailed by its gratuitous destruction of the People’s working capital.

    Taxation as we know it is compelled vandalism or financial-self-injury where the only object and result is to deprive the nominal taxpayer of it for its own sake. Everything else is merely an aberration of the mind that converges around the false premise.

    • Nobody

      Taxation is theft. In your example, the Canadian government takes (i.e. steals) $10,000 from each family. Call it what you want. At the end of the day it’s theft. The Canadian households own the money, which was taken from them against their will. It doesn’t matter what the government does with the money.
      Question: If taxation doesn’t raise money for the government, why do they tax (steal from) taxpayers?

      • Mercy Otis Warren

        That is a good question. I would guess that they tax us to maintain the illusion that we are needed in order to sustain the debt based system of currency — when in fact taxation appears to be superfluous. They can simply meet all of their obligations by issuing more debt. This of course would run the risk of exposing the entire system as the fraud for which it is, but I suspect that would be the answer they would give. This is all presuming I even understood what is written above — which is far from certain.

        • azlibrabbit

          I think you are right. I believe the lenders (the unseen, unaccountable, illegal controllers of the central banks) have as part of the infernal bargain they’ve made with our overlords, that the “illusion” of which you speak must always remain in place, for if the people cease to be enslaved to the system, the curtain will be pulled back on the whole plan. Jekyll Island was not conceived piecemeal; the Evil Ones had all their ducks in a row . . .

          • Mercy Otis Warren

            I do consider central banking to be an inherently fraudulent enterprise that is not consistent with the natural law. Central bankers claimed the power to create something out of nothing; a power only previously exercised by an omnipotent and omniscient being. It is hopeful to think that nature always wins out in the end. I am just a bit worried about the cost she will exact.

        • freedom74

          You really have no idea how sovereign debt and bond markets work at all. If I were you I would crack about 10 or 15 books on the subject and stop sounding so freaking ignorant. I will try to give you the basics.

          The barter system is garbage for multicultural, multinational markets because not all cultures value things equally. Barter causes friction and warfare and raises the cost and loss ratio of transportation of goods. We fixed this by using representations of value, which are now encapsulated through currencies. Now
          currency is a promise that a nation-state will keep the value of the currency purchasing power high enough to make it worth using as a medium of exchange. How the market and people gauge the likelihood of a nation-state keeping its buying power is expressed through bond markets and interest rates.

          To make it simple, would you loan your car to a best friend you trust explicitly with the same consideration as a random person off the street, of course not, and the 7 billion person world needs the same ability to parse the relative value of currencies.

          This is just a shallow surface explanation of the concepts you clearly don’t grasp. Hopefully you will do some keyword searches and get an education on the subject.

          • Mercy Otis Warren

            It is quite likely that I do not fully understand all the ins and outs of sovereign debt, bond markets, interest rates and currency manipulation, but your run down was not very helpful. What is the nature of our present payment system and is it consistent with the natural law?

    • azlibrabbit

      NO.

      Taxation is theft because the payers have traded their TIME for the “money,” by whatever definition, which is being extorted from them. And, as Ben Franklin so eloquently reminded us, “Time is the stuff that life is made of.” So, in essence, the government has stolen the very lives of its victims. That’s why the Founders found it so very evil.

    • artista

      WRONG. Money, is time and labor. It does not magically revert to inert paper when housed inside government warehouse. The fancy language of this pretentious argument does not hide its logical inconsistency. Without taxation, government grinds to a halt. But as to the article, Jesus Christ was not talking about government.

    • Jay_Sherman

      Taxation IS theft because regardless of the medium of exchange, or of the property or value being taxed, what is being taxed is the property (or represents the property/labor/etc.) of those being taxed, and to require and enforce a tax also requires that an entity other than the property owner have knowledge of and control of that property, and that they use the threat of violence/kidnapping/confiscation of that property to force compliance. it is worse than mere theft- it is SLAVERY. (Just ask anyone where i’m originally from- Long island nY- where property taxes on even the most modest houses are in the five-figures!)

      Just because the one doing the taxing created the unit of exchange being taxed (which actually used to represent gold!) does not make it’s confiscation any less theft; and in-fact, it double theft, because through inflation and other manipulations of that currency, the possessor of that currency is being cheated again merely by the fact that the currency loses value continually over time.

  • Gil G

    Who cares what the Bible might or might not say?

    • Tecumseh1768

      At a minimum, those who bothered to post.

    • freedom74

      Who cares what anyone might or might not say? Go back to philosophy 101 you oaf.

  • TheManInTheBunker

    A couple observations. First, Gil G, millions care what the Bible says. Many who claim to be the most strident believers also kneel before the Altar of GovCo. You see their worship for GovCo on those most High Holy Days, Memorial Day, July 4th, Veterans Day and more recently 9/11, Patriot Day. It’s perhaps the most important group that needs to be confronted with this reality.

    Second, it’s not just Jesus. The Old Testament in 1 Samuel 8 & 12 lay out in precise terms just what it means to put ones faith in earthly government. The predictions there in are coming to fruition in spades.

  • curtmilr

    The quote must be taken fully in context.

    Jesus was speaking to and about the Pharisees who ultimately had Him killed. They held great wealth, full cultural authority, and much civil authority under the Romans. They believed that their wealth was a sign of God’s blessings on them, and confirmation that they deserved the power to rule over the rest.

    So, what they “esteemed” was wealth and power. When accumulated or wielded with an impure heart, these attributes were, and are, an abomination to be sure.

    Neither attribute of themselves are necessarily abominable, and may instead be aspects of blessing or divine approval.

    But “by their fruits will you know them”, which makes the matter of discerning when they are abominations much easier.

    • Jay_Sherman

      This is true. There’s plenty in the Bible to warn one about government
      (Such as “…not following a multitude to do evil” and admonishments to
      live by God’s statutes and judgments, and to not add to or subtract from
      then, nor “turn from them to the right hand nor to the left”) -But in
      many instances, such as the quote from Like, Jesus was dealing primarily
      with the individual (And when it comes right down to it, government is
      just a collection of individuals) and their propensity for lust and
      greed of all things, from “necessities”, to power and wealth and status.

      Government is just a natural result of unrestrained human nature. -A nature which Jesus is advocating that we restrain.

      For
      instance: If we have no god before The LORD, then we would not kill
      merely because we were ordered to by some other man who is serving a
      politician (nor would we subject ourselves to being in such
      circumstances which would precipitate the need to do such).

      If we
      consider God’s law alone as having supreme authority and legitimacy,
      we would never ever want to be in a situation in which we must kidnap
      (“arrest”) and cage someone for something which God does not deem as a
      crime; or for which He did not specify a humanly meted-out punishment.

      But
      now, we have the majority of “Christian churches” which preach that
      God’s lw, or significant portions thereof, is invalid, so now we have
      the majority of Christians nullifying the very words and concepts of
      Jesus, and living just as the rest of the weorld does- by man’s law. So
      is it any wonder that Christianity as a force in Western culture, has
      been all but destroyed?

  • JdL

    Good points, Paul, and of course I agree that the government is the source of the majority of evil in the world today. Just a quibble on your statement:

    But first, please understand that Luke records these words as coming from Jesus’ mouth. That’s a fact, and no amount of evasion will change it.

    It’s also apparently a “fact” that Luke never heard Jesus speak. According to wikipedia, “The most probable date for [the book of Luke’s] composition is around 80-100 AD, and there is evidence that it was still being revised well into the 2nd century.”

    The verse does sound like something Jesus would say, and I have no particular reason to believe he DIDN’T say it, but there is no certainty about any of the quotes attributed to him, as nothing was written down for decades after his death.

  • Jay_Sherman

    Glad to see someone finally addressing this!

    As a follower of Jesus Christ, I have naturally lived by Luke 16:15, and Matt 6:31-33, and James 4:4 (Friendship with the world is enmity with God), and the commands forbidding covetousness.

    As a result, from a young age I have managed to avoid serving and supporting the world’s system- I’ve never supported their illicit wars; I’ve never been a tool of their oppression of my neighbors; I’ve managed to escape most of their brainwashing (Having had no desire to subject myself to the indoctrination of their “educational” system, I dropped out of school the very day I turned 16); I do not desire money, nor women, nor the hollow things often equated with “success” in this world.

    In short, I am free! Just as Jesus said would be the case!

    The things whioch are esteemed in this world: Money, insurance, education, sexual hedonism, power, prestige- the things most people spend their lives trying to get, are less than nothing! (As can be seen by the fact that those who acquire many, if not all of those things in abundance- are often the most miserable, and live their lives needing to be in a constant state of intoxication, because they’ve spent their lives chasing the “ultimate” things that this world has to offer- but that doesn’t change who they are, nor bring any lasting satisfaction.

    You can buy a Lamborghini, and after a few months, it’s just another car, like any other car. Having it doesn’t make your life any better; make you complete; make the world any better; nor give you any hope for the future.

  • Mark Belk

    At this point in time does anyone really need our Lord and Savior to tell us what is blatantly obvious to anyone but a moron? The question is how did it happen, the answer is we let it. There is no other reason we are basically slaves to this tyrannical government. By our system of law we can accept slavery, the easy way, or throw off the chains and take back our God given Liberty, the hard way. Remember, fear not who can kill the body but the one who can kill the soul.

  • Dicaeopolis

    Luke had just written that the Pharisees were lovers of money and we are told in Timothy that the root of all evil is the love of money. 🙂

    • http://www.trutherator.wordpress.com/ Trutherator

      And the Ill*-i ones sure do love their control of fiat currency.

  • arminw

    The Pharisees like many people today were not only lovers of money, but were filled with pride in their accomplishments and station in life. Sin of pride is the only one that God actively opposes. For the other sins that people indulge in, God merely lets them reap the harvest of those sins. God instituted governments primarily to prevent individual sinners from wreaking havoc on others who just want to live quiet and mostly peaceful lives. Jesus in particular and Bible in general is not antigovernment. Christians are admonished to pray for those in authority. The prophet Daniel tells us in no uncertain terms that nobody gets into government or position of authority without God’s permission. Because governments are made up of sinful humans, they collectively ignore the admonition of Jesus to treat others as they would like to be treated. When individuals ignore that admonition, they are labeled criminals.

    • http://www.trutherator.wordpress.com/ Trutherator

      That which is highly esteemed among men is abomination to God.

  • FreedomGone

    I am always on guard when people start a bible quote with “…”. Why was it necessary to truncate the passage. Is there something there that puts off your argument? Something inconvenient? Here is the entirety of the KJV passage, “And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.” Really? I’ll let folks make their own evaluations.

    • http://www.trutherator.wordpress.com/ Trutherator

      It’s rather obvious to me that your including the preface strengthens the argument, just as the context for “Render unto Caesar…” strengthens the argument against rendering unto Caesar that which is not his, meaning anything that he did not extort by force.

  • John Dieter

    The Esteemed Government was Jesus mortal enemy. They tortured and killed him.

    • Jay_Sherman

      Amen! And what a lot of people seem to overlook when quoting “render unto Caesar” is that Jesus was responding to a “trick question” which was designed to entrap Him. Just before the famous quote, we read: Matt 22:15 “Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in [his] talk.” and ” But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, [ye] hypocrites?” -people seem to ignore this- but the question of “Should we pay tribute?” was designed to get Jesus to either say “Yes”, in which case He would have been advocating virtual slavery of mankind from that day forward, and legitimizing virtually anything any gov’t did from that day forward, and giving them superiority over god Himself- or, if He had said “No” (Which is what they were hoping for) He would have been an enemy of the state and arrested and executed….but in that scenario, it wouldn’t have been for our sins. So Jesus answered wisely yet truthfully. One just needs to ascertain what is Caesars (Only, too many seem to think it’s “everything”!).

      Also of interest, is that the question is about TRIBUTE. Subjugated nations pay tribute to their conquerers. Israel was under the subjugation of Rome, as a punishment from God. That is far different than an illicit government illegally taxing the labor, property and transactions of it’s own citizens, in a what is supposed to be a ‘free” country which holds property rights and privacy sacrosanct- aftyer all, how can we be secure in our persons and property and papers, if we’re required to reveal every minute detail about our every transaction; our every minute of labor; and everything we own, buy or sell, to the IRS?

      What’s really sickening, is that some would make like Jesus approves of this. (Just as they think Paul is speaking of the perverted Roman government/any civil state in Romans 14).

  • Dr. Mark McCurley

    It seems our esteemed writer missed the boat. The passage quoted is about money and not government. It is clearly stated if one reads the entire passage and not just a few words. It is highly detestable when one mis-quotes the Word of God. It is sacriligious when one misuses the Word.

    • Al Terego

      I think you’re missing the boat. It’s CLEARLY about government. It was a tricj question calculated to make Jesus deny God’s word if He answered one; or to get Him to be declared an enemy of Caesar if He answered the other way. He wisely chose to answer in a way which forces the hearer to contemplate just WHAT exactly belongs to Caesar. What you think belongs to Caesar vs. what you think belongs to God, your neighbor or yourself, will pretty much reflect your real beliefs on theology and politics. Money is incidental to the equation- it could have been about anything- time, marriage, what bathroom, etc. It comes down to whom we think has ultimate authority. The Jews were more concerned with the Romans than they were about God- see John 11:48

      • Dr. Mark McCurley

        If we look at the rest of the passage we find that is can ONLY be about money.

        Verse 1 is about a rich man making deals with those who are in debt to his master. Jesus refers to this and points out that those who are attached to money are attached to unrighteousness. It says NOTHING about government anywhere.

        Try keeping the message in context.

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