Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Who's money is it Matthew 22:15-22

Two political groups came to Jesus with a dangerous political question. The Herodians and the Pharisees were fishing for a way to entrap Jesus. They wanted to ask Jesus about the righteousness of paying taxes.
If he said yes he would have been labeled as a traitor to his own people. The tax collectors were seen as traitors so why not someone who encouraged paying taxes.
If he said no he would have been on the hook for subverting the power of Herod and the Roman occupation.
Jesus responded with a question, "who's pitcture is on the coin?" They said Caesar's. Jesus told them to give the money to the emperor if it was the emperor's, afterall it had Caesar's picture on it and not God's.
Jesus' words about the money's real owner seem very shrewd at first. He jumped out of the trap saying, "Give Caesar what belongs to Caesar." His words even rhymes like a short campaign slogan. But listening these past few weeks, as people have been talking about what happened in the markets, it seems his advice was wise not only 2000 years ago but today too.
People simply can't stop talking about money. We need it to live to (heat our homes to buy food). But we don't need to be ruled by money either. This is Jesus' best advice. Don't be consumed by money. Don't be ruled by money. Live instead by faith giving the things of this world back to this world and giving God what is rightly God's.

3 comments:

Ivy said...

Amen. Yesterday several of us gathered for lectio divina and this was the passage we read. Very interesting. Thanks for sharing your apropos application to today's situation. Blessings.

Pastor Eric said...

"Don't be ruled by money. Live instead by faith giving the things of this world back to this world and giving God what is rightly God's." -- nicely said and something people need to hear, but a hard thing to say considering today's economic struggles. This is going to be an interesting text to tackle on Sunday.

Lectionary Singer said...

Good comments. It's very easy to get swayed by the media frenzy that would suggest "the end of the world is nigh". Money should not be our main concern. We need to help those who have been affected by the changes in the economy and mourn that our governments are not so good at giving money to help the poor.