Matthew 17: 24-27 Jesus pays taxes
Jesus pays taxes – yup! Every year during Lent we also endure tax season in the US. Each of us filling out the forms, praying to God we don’t owe too much and sending them back to the government before the deadline. People remind each other that we can’t avoid taxes like we can’t avoid death. Two truths that even existed for Jesus.
But why included paying taxes during the week we discuss making good decisions? Even though Jesus was a rebel and called into question many practices; even though Jesus reformed things and challenged authority; he did not just disagree. He was not a rebel that didn’t have a cause and so just disagreed with everything. He wasn’t someone just breaking all the rules around him because he could. His rebellion was formulated. His teachings were wise. His breaking or bending the rules was done not out of distaste for it all but out of the hope to change.
There is a difference between breaking the rules simply because you want to and breaking the rules to stand up for change. Jesus was a rebel for breaking and bending the rules; but he showed us several times where he respected the laws. This is one of those times; he pays his taxes.
Sometimes it feels like a fine line between breaking the rules out of disdain for the church and breaking the rules out of hope to change the church. Yet Jesus taught us to question status-quo. We are not expected to think that reform in the church ends with Jesus or that the prophetic age ended with the greats of the Old Testament. We are expected to continue in Jesus footsteps; pushing for some rules to change and yet remembering to honor others.