Jesus Paid His Taxes

Jesus Paid His Taxes

Romans 13:5-7 – Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. 

It’s not popular, but we all must pay taxes. No one sits there and thinks “I just wish I could pay more taxes”. If you do, there’s something wrong with you. The frustration and tension as a believer are that taxes are used for both good things, like roads and infrastructure, as well as evil things, like public school sex ed where a Godless educational system can teach your kids whatever they want about sex and gender.

If you’re pregnant, the government is pro-choice – you can kill your child – but once the child is born, you have no choice as to how they’ll be taught in public school. Why can we kill our children but not educate our children?

Thankfully, in Arizona, where I’m honored to live and preach, we have a bit more choice on how we school our children. As Christians, we should always fight for family, faith, and freedom. And even if the idea of taxation feels unjust and counterintuitive to our faith, we can look to the example of Jesus and His parents when it comes to taxes.

The reason Jesus’ parents, Mary and Joseph, were in Bethlehem, the location and scene of the story we read every Christmas, was because everyone was asked to go back to the man’s hometown to register for the census so they could pay their tax. Though they were likely poor, rural teenagers, they set the example before Jesus even enters the world. Even Jesus Himself, in Mark 12:17, said “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

The “things that are Caesar’s” He speaks of are taxes and “the things that are God’s” is what’s called a tithe, which literally means “10 percent”. This act of worship is way more just and fairer than taxation. God only asks for 10 percent of His own money back. At the end of the day, it’s all God’s money and He lets us keep 90 percent of it. Seems more than fair. God’s economy is always greater than the economy and systems of this world.

Are you cheerfully giving your tithe to God through your church? If not, pray for Him to open and change your heart to worship Him in this way.

To find the free Romans 12-16 digital study guide for individuals and small groups, hear Pastor Mark’s entire sermon series on Romans, or find a free mountain of Bible teaching visit or download the Real Faith app.

Mark Driscoll
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