Matthew 22:15-22 (Also Mark 12:13-17 and Luke 20:20-26)
Earlier in the book of Matthew, Peter was questioned about taxes. (Matthew is the only gospel that tells of this event.)
Jesus and his disciples went to Capernaum.
They that received tribute money (to Peter): Does not your master pay tribute/taxes?
Jesus (when Peter came into the house): What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? From their own children, or from strangers/foreigners?
Peter: From strangers.
Jesus: Then the children are free/exempt. Yet, lest we should offend them, go to the sea, and cast a hook, and take up the fish that first comes up; and when you have opened his mouth, you shall find a piece of money: take it, and give it to them for me and you.
Now in Matthew 22, in the final days before the crucifixion, the question of taxes was brought up again.
The Pharisees went and took counsel how they might entangle Jesus in his talk (so they might deliver him to the power and authority of the governor – Luke 20:20).
The Pharisees sent their disciples out to Jesus with the Herodians.
(Luke 20:20 says they “sent forth spies, who pretended to be just men.”)
The spies: Master, we know that you are true, and teach the way of God in truth, neither do you show partiality for any man: for you regard not the person of men. Tell us, what do you think? Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?
Jesus (perceiving their wickedness): Why do you tempt me, you hypocrites? Show me the tribute money.
They brought a penny to him.
Jesus: Whose is this image and superscription?
The spies: Caesar’s.
Jesus: Render therefore to Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.
When the spies heard these words, they marveled at his answer and left him, and went their way (for they were unable to trap him in what he had said – Luke 20:26)