Commentary on the Gospel of
What strikes one more and more in the gospels is the sheer intelligence of Jesus. And when intelligence is in the service of a good heart, it is an unstoppable force for good. This saying of his, “Give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar,” was of great importance to the early Christians, because they were often accused of disloyalty to the state. See for example Acts 17:7 “These people… have broken every one of Caesar’s edicts.” And Paul wrote an exhortation to loyalty to the state (Rom 13:1-7), where he even says that the taxman is doing God’s work! Clearly there is a tradition of civil loyalty that goes back to Jesus himself.