The Question about Paying Taxes (Rabel)
This is a series of lectures given by Mr. Edward Rabel, member of the faculty of S.M.R.S.
Winter semester 1976 - 2nd. Yr. Class. Lecture given on May 25, 1976
22:15Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might ensnare him in his talk. 22:16And they send to him their disciples, with the Herodians, saying, Teacher, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, and carest not for any one: for thou regardest not the person of men. 22:17Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? 22:18But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why make ye trial of me, ye hypocrites? 22:19Show me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a denarius. 22:20And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? 22:21They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's. 22:22And when they heard it, they marvelled, and left him, and went away.
We now come to a very, very familiar saying of Jesus, which we will not have to go very deeply into. It is this incident which all three of the synoptics contain about the Pharisees coming and tempting Him about whether He will pay the tax demanded of Caesar. His very well-known reply, which is pretty much the same in all three, "Whose is this image and superscription?" And they said unto him, ‘Caesar's.’ Then sayeth he unto them, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's." In other words, things unto things, things unto the realm of things, "and unto God the things that are God's." But the realm of God is not the realm of things. The realm of God is the realm of consciousness, factors of consciousness, of the soul; so in this little masterpiece of conciseness, Jesus is pointing out the difference between realizing the importance of that which is eternally important, things that are God's, and the things which are only of transitory or relative importance, things that are Caesar's. Now, notice we are not saying that one is important and one is not important. We are saying that they are different kinds of importance, different brands of importance. The things that are of Caesar's can be very important, but only in time, place, or circumstance and relative.
For instance, one man's meat can be another man's poison, and your cup of tea may not be at all mine. But to each his own on that realm, you see; but the things that are God's are the eternal verities, the realities of being. These do not change. These do not depend upon time, place, circumstances, or opinions. Now, both realms are important but different in their quality and in their durability, the durability of their importance, especially.
The things that are of God are the eternals, the reality, the spiritual resources, all the essentials of our inner life and of our inner world. The things that are Caesar's are the seeming essentials of outer activities, outer manifestations and expressions. The things of God are, of course, for the benefit of the whole. The things of Caesar may benefit only certain men, and even then, only certain parts of certain men. Paying the tax to Caesar would benefit certain people in that kingdom at that time, but at that same time, that tax that would benefit some people would further the cause of oppression of other people; and that is the way the things of the world are, as I said, what is one man's meat is another man's poison.
One man's enrichment can be another man's deprivation, you see. The things of Caesar is a realm of uncertainty, coming and going, of flux, of half-blind expression; yet we are here for the purpose of becoming masters of that realm. We are not here for the purpose of becoming masters of the absolute. We are here to become masters of the relative. Please remember this. This is important to remember when you feel an urge to pooh-pooh the matters of the relative realm. Do not do that. Learn it. Render unto it so that you will become its master. Do not try to master the absolute when that is not your business. That is not your purpose. Master the relative, and you do this by following the teachings of Jesus, and he does say, "Render unto this realm things deemed necessity but knowing their true value, their true transitory status in your existence."
Jesus' words tell us to give our concern and to do our part in each of these realms only in terms of what each realm really is and what each really demands. To ignore either will cause unnecessary suffering. To mistake one realm for the other will cause very, very painful confusion. To each his own. Make the distinction in your own mind, with your Judgment faculty, which are the eternal verities, the eternally important things and which are the passing fancies and transitory demands, pleasures. Keep your priorities straight, and you will be able to function comfortably in both realms; but the great thing is, by doing so, you will achieve mastery over the realm of limitation, which is where our existence is firmly planted at this time. You cannot ignore existence.
You do not become master of something by ignoring it, you see; you become master of it by showing it that you can do anything it requires and more! And that really is its job, in the long run, is to serve you when you have Christ consciousness, and it is glad to do it, the realm of polarity and duality.
Text of the original transcript at the 3rd paragraph of p.269 through the 2nd paragraph of p.270.
Transcribed by Margaret Garvin on 04-12-2014