His Love is Enough
13 Later the leaders sent some Pharisees and supporters of Herod to trap Jesus into saying something for which he could be arrested. 14 “Teacher,” they said, “we know how honest you are. You are impartial and don’t play favorites. You teach the way of God truthfully. Now tell us—is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not? 15 Should we pay them, or shouldn’t we?”
Jesus saw through their hypocrisy and said, “Why are you trying to trap me? Show me a Roman coin, and I’ll tell you.” 16 When they handed it to him, he asked, “Whose picture and title are stamped on it?”
“Caesar’s,” they replied.
17 “Well, then,” Jesus said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.”
His reply completely amazed them.
I imagine that before the Pharisees went to ask Jesus this question, they spent at least a couple hours deliberating and scheming the best way to trap him. I'm pretty sure they, like the disciples, thought if this guy is the Messiah, He’s going to try organizing an uprising against the Roman government, at any moment. Indeed, there would be a revolution for God’s people through Jesus the Messiah, but it did not involve war or physical violence against the Roman government. Jesus effortlessly sniffs out their deceit and amazes them with heavenly wisdom.
To be honest Jesus’ reply completely amazes me as well. It’s a simple but also hard to remember truth. Our lives should revolve around one focal point -- intimacy with the Father. The Roman coin was made in Caesar's image to give glory and honor to Caesar. You and I were made in God's image to give all glory and honor to Him. Anytime we get fixated on things like money, job titles, positions, and other earthly possessions, it’s an indication that we've lost sight of what really matters. Knowing the Father and letting Him know us in turn. Jesus walked in perfect intimacy with the Father, so earthly distraction had zero effect on keeping Him from His purpose. Through His shed blood on the cross we can live the same way. Whenever we become overwhelmed by life's many crises, instead of trying to hold on to earthly possession and power, we can seek to be intimate with the Father. Of course, this doesn't necessarily make life’s problems magically disappear, but they do become a lot less significant when compared to the richness of God’s glory. Intimacy with Jesus is the answer to every problem you will ever encounter.
I am learning, as I get older, that the problems and cares of life don’t get any easier. If I stay consumed with God’s love, there is a much better chance that I’ll stay out of the way as God works it all out on my behalf. So what are you trying to hold onto? What thing on this earth are you trying to supplement God’s love with?