“Render . . . unto Caesar the Things Which Are Caesar’s; and unto God the Things That Are God’s”

Matthew 22:15–22

15 Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk.
16 And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men.
17 Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Cæsar, or not?
18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?
19 Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny.
20 And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?
21 They say unto him, Cæsar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Cæsar the things which are Cæsar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.
22 When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.

President James E. Faust said:

“Hypocrites are those who outwardly wear masks that portray goodness but inwardly practice evil and deceit. Such were the scribes and Pharisees who came to the Savior pretending to be troubled in conscience and to be seeking His wise counsel. ‘Master,’ they said in flattering tone, ‘we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men.’

“With this devious approach they hoped to catch Him off guard as they asked: ‘Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?’

“Their question was loaded with wicked intent because one of the most offensive of the Roman laws was the poll tax. If He had answered, ‘Yes,’ the Pharisees could have painted Him as disloyal to the Jews. If His answer had been ‘No,’ He could have been denounced for sedition. ‘But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?’

“He asked them to show Him a penny and then asked, ‘Whose is this image and superscription?’ They answered, ‘Caesar’s,’ and He silenced the hypocritical Pharisees with that classic reply, ‘Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s’ [Matt. 22:16–21]. We are in the world but we should not be overcome by the hypocrisy and deceit that are in it.”

(“The Enemy Within,” Ensign, Nov. 2000, 46.)

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