Matthew 22:15-22 Children can follow along in Spark 306
Verse 21 "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's. Give to God what is God's."
This is one passage that seems simple enough. There is no disagreement about what is deeper. Ultimately we know that God is a deeper value than following Caesar. But this is hard to live out. In this passage the Jewish leaders and elite probably want to follow someone who will free them from the Roman leaders and elite. However, Jesus will not take this task on. Everyone, including Jesus, knows that taking on the Romans is a near fatal task. It's quite hard to live under an empire of the wealthy and militarily mighty. Mennonites and Anabaptists have struggled with this for literally centuries. The post-Babylon Jews have struggled with this for over 2,000, and are now in the ironic situation of perpetuating what they were running from as they seek to control the Palestinians. But Jesus does not offer any easy answer. He simply offers another question.
I often wonder if he answer changed anyone's life. Did anyone suddenly start doing something different with their money? I really don't know. But I do hope that it reminded people to keep pondering the role of God in their life. As a religious leader myself, I often wonder of how to answer people's use of their time. I regularly receive emails of people offering reasons why they cannot participate in various events (and there are many activities with church people that I decline participation in as well). Maybe my response should simply acknowledge the tension in our lives. When we consider how we spend our time (similarly to our finances), "Give to work/school/sports/family what is theirs. And Give to God what is God's." What does it mean to wrestle with the gods in our lives today? We make gods out of many things. We have many substitutions for Caesar's role in our life today. I pray that we simply remember God is everywhere, in everything, and at the core of everything.
Give to God what is God's :-).
Events & Evites:
Tory - Pastor of Children and Youth Faith Formation.