On two occasions Jesus was confronted by religious leaders on the issue of taxation, one involving Temple taxes which was imposed on the people of God to bring offerings into the temple for the necessity of providing for the service. The second confrontation came when the Pharisees, trying to trap Jesus, asked Him a question about whether they should or should not pay taxes to Caesar. Regarding the Temple tax, residents and citizens of the local towns did not have to pay temple taxes, only strangers to the area, so Jesus and His disciples would have been exempt. However, Jesus instructed Peter to pay the tax for both of them even though they were not strangers to the area. By this decision, they were not offending their adversaries who were trying to trap Jesus. Regarding taxes to Caesar, Jesus referred to the picture on the coin and concluded that because this coin belonged to Rome, then paying taxes to Caesar should be enforced.
We are bound by the laws of the civil authorities, and we should uphold these laws. However, all believers should seek afterKingdom principles of restitution in order to resolve matters between believers before appealing to Caesar. The Church gives ways for believers to resolve their conflicts in areas of marriage, labor, and disputes regarding morality and ethics, without having to involve secular legal authorities.
Do you seek to resolve your conflicts within the Church before appealing to local governments? Remember, if you appeal to Caesar before coming to the Church for resolution, you must abide by the outcome that government imposes upon you. Coming to the arms of a loving God should always be our first step in conflict resolution. The cross is the ultimate sign of conflict resolution that is available now to every believer. The road to the cross will lead us to resolve every conflict both in and outside the Church.