Many of my readers have asked me to explain what Jesus said in this verse. They want to know if Jesus meant to say to pay taxes or not.
In order to explain this verse, I need to quote several other parts of the Bible, first.
The first Biblical Principle to understand is that Jesus spoke in parables, on purpose, to hide understanding.
Mat 13:10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
Mat 13:11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
This means that for every parable, there are at least two meanings. There is the misleading meaning for the foolish world (the popular interpretation), and then there is the true meaning that would be understood only by true believers.
Thus, if there are two meanings, at least, both seemingly valid on the surface, then, in order to know which is which, we need to see what God has already said on this matter. Furthermore, it gets even harder, because some verses might be used by false Biblical teachers (false prophets) to justify the wrong view! Thus, discernment is needed. And what is discernment? I had one Christian man email me recently to say that discernment is not even a word!
1 : the quality of being able to grasp and comprehend what is obscure
: showing insight and understanding
: to see or understand the difference
Discernment is the ability to know what is true, and what is not true! And it is gained by experience. Just like muscles get stronger with use, so does your own discernment.
Hebrews 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
I take pains to explain this, because today, discernment is a skill that is greatly needed.
So, first of all, before we ask if God approves giving money to kings, we ought to consider what God thinks of Kings in general.
When the Israelites wanted a King, God said that was because the people were rejecting God, and thus, the King itself was a form of God's punishment upon them. Kings are thieves.