Luther Seminary God Pause
Friday, 10/17/2014 Reading: Matthew 22:15-22
The Pharisees sent their disciples (they weren't even willing to go themselves) along with some Herodians to entrap Jesus. A simple question about taxes could be just what they needed. The people of Israel didn't like paying taxes, and the Romans required it. No matter how Jesus would answer, it seems he would make enemies on one side or the other. The Pharisees would discredit him, and they would win.
However, their game was too small in scale. They were not ready to go where Jesus was. "Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor's, and to God the things that are God's."
I can more easily give to the "emperor" what is due because it is only a percentage of what I consider mine. But when I am commissioned with giving to God what is God's, I balk. Everything is God's. And I wonder, am I really ready to give God everything?
God of all, we fear giving all to you. We want something that belongs to us, and yet we know that everything we have is from you. Quell our fear, and embrace us in the security that can only come from you. Amen.>
Scott Peterson Pastor, Prince of Faith Lutheran Church, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Master of Divinity, 1996
Matthew 22:15-22 (NRSV)
15 Then the Pharisees went and plotted to entrap him in what he said. 16 So they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, "Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and teach the way of God in accordance with truth, and show deference to no one; for you do not regard people with partiality. 17 Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?" 18 But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, "Why are you putting me to the test, you hypocrites? 19 Show me the coin used for the tax." And they brought him a denarius. 20 Then he said to them, "Whose head is this, and whose title?" 21 They answered, "The emperor's." Then he said to them, "Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor's, and to God the things that are God's." 22 When they heard this, they were amazed; and they left him and went away.
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