Jesus, help me tell adults when important things are happening, but not tattle about little things that don't really matter! Amen.

Some people were trying to trap Jesus into saying they could break the law, so He'd get in trouble. "Teacher," they asked, "should we pay taxes to Caesar?" Jesus looked at a coin and said, "Whose picture is on this?" "Caesar's," they said. "Then give Caesar what's his, and give God what belongs to God," Jesus told them.

Tattling is sometimes a big no-no in a kid's world. When you see someone misbehaving, often your first thought is to tell on them. You get in trouble when you act up; why shouldn't they? It's only fair!

Then the adults tell you, "Don't be a tattletale." It's very confusing.

This week's Gospel (Matthew 22:15-21) makes sense of it. A bunch of people are tattling to Jesus. The Romans who took over their country, headed by Caesar, are making them pay taxes, and they don't like it. Some of them want Jesus to lead a rebellion; others worry that Jesus' teaching will get them in trouble with the Romans, so they want to get rid of Him.

Either way, they're being tattletales, complaining to Jesus about the taxes and pushing Him to say they shouldn't have to pay.

When you tattle on another kid, an adult will often tell you to cut it out. There are some times when it's important to tell -- when a kid is doing something dangerous or when someone is hurting them, for example -- but if it's about a small thing like not sharing, it might be better to let it go.

Jesus wasn't crazy about tattling, either. He was trying to teach important things about God, and people were bugging Him about taxes. Jesus shut them down, pointing out that if Caesar's face was on a coin, they might as well give it back to Caesar.

Jesus didn't want to worry about little things like tattling. He wanted to help people get closer to God and treat one another kindly in the world. Tattletales were not welcome around Jesus!