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  • Writer's picturePastor Yolanda

A Devotion for Tax Day



4/15/2024

April 15th is a day when most have their minds on their taxes. Taxes are nothing new. We recall that the Roman Empire taxed its citizens. Ancient Rome had four primary types of taxes, including one for cattle, land, customs, and profits. Tax collectors were reviled in every culture because they often employed violent tactics to collect. Of course, violence was turned against them if they didn’t collect the required taxes. They also tended to be people who gouged citizens, skimming a percentage off the top of collections for themselves. In Matthew 22, Jesus uses a coin with the image of the current Caesar to make a couple of points about our place in society.

To understand his teaching, let’s look at the entire chapter. It begins with a parable of a wedding in a wedding banquet that is opened to outsiders by a king because the insiders (friends and family) he wanted at the banquet made excuses about why they couldn’t attend. This parable is about God opening the blessings reserved for the “chosen people” to all people. It is also an indictment of the practices of the “chosen people” who fail to fulfill their call. Jesus ends this lesson by saying, “Many are called, but few are chosen.” Here, the chosen become those who weren’t called initially. After this, we receive the teaching about the things of God and the things of Caesar, who is standing in for the world. Other guests, not originally part of the called people of God, were chosen and given admission to the banquet and wedding clothes. We, the called, now joint heirs with Christ, choose to pay taxes so others may be invited to experience the benefits of the lavish wedding of Jesus and the Church. Hopefully this takes a little bit of the sting out of tax day.

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