Please find a quiet place to clear your thoughts. As we read these verses, ask for the Holy Spirit to rid your mind of busyness, doubt, fear, worry, etc… Let God’s truth speak to your heart! Mark 12:13-17
The Message (MSG)
13-14 They sent some Pharisees and followers of Herod to bait him, hoping to catch him saying something incriminating. They came up and said, “Teacher, we know you have integrity, that you are indifferent to public opinion, don’t pander to your students, and teach the way of God accurately. Tell us: Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”
15-16 He knew it was a trick question, and said, “Why are you playing these games with me? Bring me a coin and let me look at it.” They handed him one.
“This engraving—who does it look like? And whose name is on it?”
“Caesar,” they said.
17 Jesus said, “Give Caesar what is his, and give God what is his.”
Their mouths hung open, speechless.
I have to admit that I enjoy worshiping The God who is so omnipotent, who knows everything that was, and is, and is to come! In these verses Jesus is quiet and listens to the Pharisees and followers of Herod, already knowing what they are “up to”. He very calmly turns the table, and speaks truth to them, using their own words.
Just as back then, we live in a country where paying taxes is the norm. And we gripe and complain about how much paying taxes cost us, we try to do everything we can to reduce the yearly amount, etc. As Pastor Delton so wisely pointed out in his message this morning, they (and we) are missing the point. The things in this world that drive us nuts, and make us grumpy are not the things we should be wasting our time worrying about. Jesus reminds us (again) that we are to be about His Kingdom work, from the perspective of Jesus’ Kingdom eyes. As the commentary in my Bible says, “our lives, which bear God’s image, belong to God.” Are we giving our lives to God? Am I living a Jesusy life every day? Am I spending time with Him every day, so that I know how to be Jesusy? When someone says something that is hurtful, do I just quickly answer, or am I looking with love behind the meaning or reason behind what hurts (being Jesusy)? It’s much easier to react quickly and lash out a response.
It’s difficult for me to think of myself as bearing God’s image – my self image is not so good most days. But I’m trying to think of myself as a God’s daughter, before I let my worldly self image begin to control my day. It’s taking REAL effort. J
Father God – thank you so much for Your Son, who loves us every day and looks past our questions and earthly concerns. Please help me to be more Jesusy, so that I can understand the reason behind the behavior/questions to point others to the loving God that You are! Amen.