Friday, July 1, 2011

Pay Your Dues

Last April I received a notice that my dues for the Toastmasters Club were due. Like most of you who belong to clubs the annual dues is naturally a part of life. I pay my dues gladly because I agreed to them when I joined and I believe in what the club is doing for me.

You must pay your dues... In fact belonging to a community club can be a part of paying your dues to live in a thriving community. Some clubs like Toastmasters are for self-improvement and others clubs like Optimist, provide service to the community.

The question might arise, "How do we pay our dues to God?"
                                     What belongs to God?

That was part of the question in Matthew 22 when the Pharisees and Herodians were asking Jesus about paying taxes to Rome. The Dues and you can read that as taxes, were due to the Emperor in Rome. Their religious dues were the tithe and that was the ten percent due the Temple according to scripture.

It had been a question they meant to trap Jesus. The Pharisees and Herodians who challenged Jesus' opinion with the question on taxed are described by the text as being filled with malice. For Jesus to say yes to paying Roman taxes would make the Jews angry. Say no and make the Romans angry. Yes or No? It was bad news either way. But Jesus did not answer with yes or no, as expected. His answer was to the question ownership.

Give to the emperor the things that are the emperor's and to God the things that are God's. It was a truly amazing answer!

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