Commentary on the Gospel of
DOES YOUR MASTER PAY THE TEMPLE TAX?
The Jews paid a yearly per capita tax to the Roman Empire. Their harvest was taxed, so was their use of the Roman highways and fishing docks. Scholars estimate that as much as one-third of their income went to their Roman occupiers.
Jesus did not instigate a violent revolt against the Romans. He collaborated when called for — like paying taxes — but was critical of them when necessary.
We also need to discern our relationship with the State — when to cooperate and when to be critical, what to affirm and what to denounce, using the Gospel as our moral compass.