“Caesar’s,” they replied. He said to them, “Then give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” They were unable to trap him in what he had said there in public. And astonished by his answer, they became silent. Luke 20:25-26 (NIV)
People are trying to trap Jesus in His words. Are there always some who would just love to remove the importance of our Saviour´s teachings? Would that leave us to enjoy some of this world´s pleasures and give in to some of our own desires? Does this kind of people try to trap Him in some disputable meaning? Do we try hard to make Jesus´ words come down to an earthly sentiment? Would we like to be able to grasp them like any other worldly concept? Don´t we just love to make the bottom line of Jesus´ teaching to be something that we can place into a category or final definition? Is that how we can say we´ve got it, and then pass on by to our favored points?
These worldly minded people bring a matter to Christ. But are our intentions very pure? We ask about money and where our tribute should go. But does the response we are looking for truly have that much to do with God? How often do we too bring issues to the Lord but our intentions are towards our own goals, aspirations or worldly interests?
Jesus responds to the question. But does He see clearly through the duplicity? Can He see that what we are looking for is not really what God is looking for in us? Can Jesus see that we are not asking so that we can bring ourselves personally closer to Him? Can He see how much of our interest and our heart is leaning to the worldly matter in question? So Jesus gives us an answer. It is beautiful. It is perfect. It is packed with an eternity of good up-building lessons in faith. He says; “Give to the world what is the world´s. But give unto God what is God´s!”
Is this the message we receive through Jesus´ answer? Can we see how astonished those who hear these words are? Does it surprise us too? Do they leave us without further questions? Do they bring us all before the throne of God? Do they return the bottom-line to our Maker? Do they leave our hearts and their earthly intentions painfully exposed for what they are? Can we see by them that so much of our pious playing around is never really intended to place us in the Presence of God? Can we see that much of our religious fan-fare is not actually done because we are aware that the Lord is here? Can we see that He knows where our hearts are going? Does this astonishing answer leave us where it should? Does it place us personally within the Presence of the Divine? Does it leave us with nothing else standing between God and us? Does it leave us without the duplicity of lower intentions?
Dear Jesus, is there any part of our approach to You which is not truly intended to bring us before the very Presence of God? Are we seeking some personal private goal? Or are we bowing before the Throne of Grace to open our hearts? Are we coming to find that what we still lack? Are we coming to pay tribute to the One to Whom tribute should be given? Shine Your light! Open our eyes! Show us where our true intentions lie! Then heal us, forgive us, and make us whole we pray!