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GOVERNMENT AND GREED – written by Tanis Harms
TOPIC:        Biblical view on government, our part is
.             to pay our taxes
SCRIPTURE:    Matt.17:24-27, 22:17-21; Rom.13:6-7
Style:        drama/conversation:  Peter discusses
.             paying taxes with another disciple
Cast:         PETER, DISCIPLE
Set & Props:  

SCRIPT:

(PETER enters with DISCIPLE.)

PETER      These Pharisees were obviously just now
.          trying to catch Jesus doing something wrong.

DISCIPLE   Paying taxes to Rome could show that
.          we are paying tribute to another king,
.          which would go against the Torah and prove
.          that Jesus was being disloyal to Judaism.

PETER      But if Jesus had said that we did
.          NOT have to pay taxes, the Pharisees
.          would have denounced Jesus to the Romans.
.          These Pharisees must have heard that
.          we paid the poll-tax in Capernaum.

DISCIPLE   Do they not know HOW you paid that poll-tax?

PETER      What?  That Jesus told me to find a coin
.          in the mouth of the first fish that I caught?
.          Does it really matter how we got the money?
.          Isn’t it more just the fact that we paid
.          taxes to the Roman government?

DISCIPLE   I can see everyone’s reluctance in doing that
.          since this is supposed to be our land.
.          Are we to give tax money to the people
.          who took our land?  And how exactly are they
.          using this money that they collect from us!
.          We have absolutely no say in the matter.

PETER      I suppose that would be on their conscience.

DISCIPLE   It is unfair and unjust.                     2

PETER      I see that it is unfair – and unjust –
.          when you look at the entire picture.

DISCIPLE   But the Romans-

PETER      Are here for now!

DISCIPLE   If Jesus is truly our Messiah, then
.          Jesus will help us get our land back.

(PETER thinks about this.)

PETER      I am getting the idea that it will not be
.          as simple as all that.

DISCIPLE   Our Messiah will take the throne.

PETER      Yes, He will.  But the question is - when?
.          What is this that Jesus keeps talking about? –
.          That He will be delivered into the hands
.          of men, who will kill Him.

DISCIPLE   Right, Jesus said something about that...
.          something about a betrayal?  So, then,
.          Jesus is NOT our Messiah?

PETER      He also said something about being raised
.          on the third day.

DISCIPLE   What does that even mean?  How does it apply
.          to the fact that we must give tax money
.          to our enemies?  Caesar is only a man!

PETER      Who has been placed in position of power
.          by God.

DISCIPLE   You are saying strange and dangerous things!
.          And so is Jesus.  The Pharisees keep looking
.          for ways to trick Jesus into saying something
.          that will self-incriminate.

PETER      And we keep seeing how Jesus answers them
.          in ways that only demonstrate His wisdom
.          and insight – like He can read their minds.

(DISCIPLE shakes his head, uncertain.)                  3

DISCIPLE   You can see that the Pharisees are getting
.          angry with Jesus.  And we are seen guilty
.          by association.

PETER      I would rather be associated with Jesus
.          than with hypocrites.  And the answer
.          that Jesus gave the Pharisees was correct:
.          the coin has Caesar’s likeness and inscription
.          on it.  So we pay our taxes!  As well,
.          we give to God what is God’s.

DISCIPLE   If it means our life?

PETER      Maybe that is what it means?
.          Everything that we have is from God.

DISCIPLE   So why then should we give to the government?

PETER      Because God says so.