It’s tax day in Rome. Caesar slouches back in his chair and says to his advisors, “I don’t have much patience with these Christians. They’re so absorbed with their “phantom king” I’m not sure we can keep them under our thumb. Yeh, most of them pay their taxes, but only because “he” tells them to. I think they’re going to be trouble for us until they finally realize he’s not coming back.”
The emperor pauses, looks into the eyes of his silent counselors and continues, “I’ll tell you what I think is going to happen. Someday there’s going to be another Caesar who is going to be clever enough to let them think they can have a voice in his administration. Once they get a taste of a real power– they’ll be hard to control– but at least he’ll have their attention. He’ll know that if he can just engage them in a struggle for control of his kingdom, their hearts will be his. They won’t even know it.
On this Tax Day of 2008, I’ve been remembering that our Lord told us to give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God’s what is God’s (Matt 22:17-22). So with or without a smile we pay our taxes. The question I have is whether we have also given a new, more accessible Caesar– attention, and hearts that belong to God alone. Over the next couple of posts I’d like to think with you about the difference between prophetic and political influence.