Click for today’s readings: 2 Samuel 18:19-33; Acts 23:23-35; Mark 12:13-27
Once again, the Pharisees’ plan backfires. Their question suggests some things belong to this world and some things belong to God. Jesus’ answer seems to validate their thinking: “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Mark 12:17). But soon the Pharisees realize they are caught in their own trap. Responding to Jesus means they must explain their paying the tax all along.
The church often falls into this same trap. Everything belongs to God, even our money, yet we continue to treat money as our most precious possession. Many insist the Church must be run like a business; we need to take in more and spend less. Of course, these are faulty beliefs; the trap is sprung and we are snared.
The power of money is deceptive and deadly. Thankfully, the power of God’s love is stronger. Jesus says, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” All we have, even our very lives belong to God. Yet our Father provides all we need for life. As we render taxes and other payments, we do so, understanding the authority and responsibility of such institutions also come from God.
Prayer: Lord, make us faithful stewards of all you provide. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by David Nuottila, Pastor of Union Lutheran Church, Salisbury, NC.