I don’t know if you’re like me, but taxes is usually a multi-day affair. And that’s after all the paperwork has arrived. This year I got notified that one of my documents wasn’t going to arrive until February! I’m not sure how you can do that, because I thought it was all due in January.
Anyway, taxes are a part of life, something that comes every year and soaks up a lot of our time because there are entire businesses dedicating to making them easier. Call me a cynic, but I’m sure there’s a lobbyist somewhere that’s hoping to make something more complex instead of less just so that they can get more money for their software.
I mean, the government can make it easier, but why?
It’s funny, because taxes were around in Jesus’ day too. There’s that famous episode where they tested Jesus by asking him whether money should go to Caesar or to God and Jesus answered that we should give unto Caesar the things that are Caesars (the money with his mug on it), and give unto God the thing that is God’s.
But my favorite story story in the Bible about taxes is this one:
When they came to Capernaum, the people who collected the half-shekel temple tax came to Peter and said, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?”
“Yes,” he said.
But when they came into the house, Jesus spoke to Peter first. “What do you think, Simon? From whom do earthly kings collect taxes, from their children or from strangers?”
“From strangers,” he said.
Jesus said to him, “Then the children don’t have to pay. But just so we don’t offend them, go to the lake, throw out a fishing line and hook, and take the first fish you catch. When you open its mouth, you will find a shekel coin. Take it and pay the tax for both of us.”Matthew 17:24-27
I mean, Peter was trying not to make Jesus look bad by telling the Pharisees that of course Jesus pays his taxes. I mean, do they think that Jesus is a tax cheat or something?! But Jesus tells them that earthly kings take taxes from strangers not from his own children, and therefore Jesus doesn’t owe his Father taxes.
Kinda reminds me of the fact that the US government used to run only on tariffs and not an income tax, but I digress.
The point is that we all must pay what is owed us, and that means that we are taxed for our money and our time. Oh, and don’t go looking around for money in a fish’s mouth unless Jesus tells you to.
Come to think of it, I’d like to play Peter when they make this into a VeggieTales episode, but I’ll probably end up in the part of the fish… or someone standing in the background… Bob, you still have my number, right?