Our scripture this morning is ‭‭Luke‬ ‭20‬:‭20‬-‭26‬.

So they watched Him, and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, that they might seize on His words, in order to deliver Him to the power and the authority of the governor. Then they asked Him, saying, “Teacher, we know that You say and teach rightly, and You do not show personal favoritism, but teach the way of God in truth: Is it lawful for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” But He perceived their craftiness, and said to them, “Why do you test Me? Show Me a denarius. Whose image and inscription does it have?” They answered and said, “Caesar’s.” And He said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” But they could not catch Him in His words in the presence of the people. And they marveled at His answer and kept silent.

Those who opposed Jesus never stopped trying to find something He said to use against Him. In this passage they try flattery before springing the trick question, but Jesus speaks only the truth, and their efforts fail. Jesus never ignores the things they ask, but He is not fooled by their intent.

They ask whether it is lawful to pay taxes to the Roman government and wait to trap Him in His response. However, Jesus doesn’t answer in a way they expect. He uses the opportunity to teach about respect for authority and the difference between earthly and eternal things.

His answer catches them off guard: “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (v. 25). If we listen carefully, we remember that all things belong to God, and nothing is really ours. Jesus is saying if we pay attention to our relationship with God, all our earthly issues become secondary. Look to King Jesus and not any ruler here!

Loving Lord, we await Your coming in joy and anticipation. Help us to be faithful followers as You have taught and may we share the joy of our connection with You to all the world. Amen.

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