Then the Pharisees met together to plot how to trap Jesus into saying something for which he could be arrested. They sent some of their disciples, along with the supporters of Herod, to meet with him. “Teacher,” they said, “we know how honest you are. You teach the way of God truthfully. You are impartial and don’t play favorites. Now tell us what you think about this: Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”
But Jesus knew their evil motives. “You hypocrites!” he said. “Why are you trying to trap me? Here, show me the coin used for the tax.” When they handed him a Roman coin,he asked, “Whose picture and title are stamped on it?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. “Well, then,” he said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God. His reply amazed them, and they went away. – Matthew 25:15-22 (NLT)
Most people in Jesus’ day thought the Messiah was going to be a political figure who came to overthrow the Roman government and restore David’s dynasty to the throne of Israel. The Jewish leaders, therefore, decided to try to trap Jesus in what he thought about the political atmosphere of the day, namely taxes, which have always been a point of debate politically. But Jesus, not being a political Messiah, easily answers the question because he is not concerned with such trivial matters. He is more concerned with spiritual matters. He encourages people to know God and submit to following him. We often elevate politics to the point of the Pharisees. We bleed blue or red depending on political inclinations. I am not saying, we should not support political ideals or candidates or even run for office (if we feel called by God to do it). The only intention here is to make sure our first priority is to God and not to any earthly concept.
Do you put politics ahead of God as the Pharisees did? Does your affiliation with Republicans or Democrats exceed your affiliation with Jesus? Most of us would easily dismiss this notion and say, “No.” But really search. Do you spend as much time with God in prayer or reading his word as you do filling your mind with the political news of the day? Do you serve God by giving him more of your time and resources than you do to your political affiliation?