In our days also many want the Church to support the violent forms of power change or to wave the flag of revolt and rebellion. But the Church cannot deny the principles of the Gospel, the teaching of Christ, and to preach other principles.
This was also the attitude towards Christ. He was perceived by many as a secular messiah who would come and take away the people of Israel from the yoke of Roman domination. Some even wanted to engage Christ in political intrigues. For this purpose, the Pharisees even conceived a tricky question, so that they asked Christ before all the people. The Pharisees said to Christ: “Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any [man:] for thou regardest not the person of men. Tell us, therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?” (Matthew 22:16-17, Mark 12:14, Luke 20:21-22).
The question was quite cunning and was especially thought for political machinations. If Christ replied that it was legitimate to pay taxes to Caesar, all the people would come against Him because the Jews were forced to pay taxes to the Romans, for the Romans did not rule in Israel legally but they established their power forcibly.
If Christ replied that paying Caesar’s tax was not lawful, then they would say that Christ was preparing the people for rebelling against Rome, and then the Roman authorities would against Christ. That is why Christ, with His great wisdom, answered them: “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s” (Mt 22:21, Mark 12:17, Luke 20:25).
And today even if some people want to hear the word of the Church, the Church cannot say anything else than Christ has taught, otherwise, it will stop being a Church of Christ. That is why, pointing to the bitter events in history, highlighting to the victories of the apostles and Christians, thanks to the divine help and intervention, we say like the Christ: “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s”.