Our scripture this week is Matthew 22:15-22.
Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are. Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?” But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.
Jesus wants us to see the difference between God’s gifts and the things of the world which often lead us astray. He teaches that while we must deal with earthly matters, we mustn’t let them become the focus of our lives. God has much better things for us than the world can ever offer.
Jesus prayed for His disciples, saying “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world” (John 17:16). Paul taught us “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind” (Romans 12:2). We are meant for a higher purpose than this physical existence.
God calls us to be part of eternity with Him. We are created to be connected to our Father in heaven first and foremost. When we realize the blessing that awaits us, the things we see here will cease to attract us and we can be the children He intended us to be.
Gracious God, in Your mercy You forgive our worldly sins and invite us back to the relationship that is meant for us. Help us to share Your love that all people may know that connection with You. Amen.