Bible Reflection – 5/24

Matthew 22:15-22 (NIV)

15Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. 16They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are. 17Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”

18But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? 19Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, 20and he asked them, “Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?”

21″Caesar’s,” they replied.
Then he said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

22When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.

John Howard Yoder has a great essay analyzing the above scripture along with Romans 13.

As such, I won’t unpack the above scripture too much.

I will however, ask you to reflect on the following questions:
When during my day do I submit to what “the world” (i.e., the secular, that to which God doesn’t call me) demands of me, and when do I submit to what God wants of me?
When during the day do I praise and worship God, and when do I praise and worship earthly powers?
When do I follow the herd of my fellow humyns and the status quo, and when do I let Christ be my sheperd?
When do I face down the unjust in “the world”, and when do I silently comply?
Do I pray for guidance in my decisions enough?

Prayer:
Heavenly Lord, show me the path to You, and I will follow it. Give me the strength to do what You need of me, and not to place my treasures in this world, where moth and rust corrupt. Yet reveal to me the beauty in Your Creation while keeping my eye toward You and your love, justice, and mercy.
*follow with the Lord’s Prayer*
Amen.

I should say, in case it hasn’t been noted, I try to make my reflections pretty general, but when I say things like “unjust” and “the world”, I don’t mean it like say, Jerry Falwell meant it. Actually, quite the opposite.

Can I tag someone to do the next Bible verse/ reflection? I think having these up daily/semi-daily is really good, but I wouldn’t want to be the only one doing them. Respond if you feel like taking it up for a day!

Peace be with you.

Comments (6)

  1. Ned Netterville

    There is much more on this topic at the website, http://www.jesus-on-taxes.com, which makes available a comprehensive analysis of everything Jesus is reported in the Gospels to have said about taxes and tax collectors in an essay entitled, JESUS OF NAZARETH-ILLEGAL TAX PROTESTER.

    Reply
  2. folknotions (Post author)

    Ned,

    Except Jesus’s stance on taxes in particular was not my topic.

    Reply
  3. tomdunn

    “Can I tag someone to do the next Bible verse/ reflection? I think having these up daily/semi-daily is really good, but I wouldn’t want to be the only one doing them. Respond if you feel like taking it up for a day!”

    Is there a weekly rotation? I be down for taking one day out of the week, every monday or something.

    Reply
  4. Skylark

    There’s no better time than one’s birthday to ponder questions of self and God and how much I focus on me throughout each day. And yes, today is my birthday. I’m 24 on May 24. It’ll only happen once, so I’m living it up.

    Each moment only happens once, when it comes down to it. I need frequent reminders to SLOW DOWN and appreciate the people and simple joys in life. I suppose that’s why I go to the nursing home and why I decided to take the opportunity to play a game with my little sisters today instead of going to a Bible study 20 minutes away. “Learning something about God” is hardly limited to those with an open Bible in front of them.

    I’ll pitch in to the daily Bible verses/reflections. What sort of rotation can we work out?

    Reply
  5. folknotions (Post author)

    I’m not sure how necessary a rotation is, but how about I step back for a few weeks. tomdunn, do you want to do next week and skylark you can do the week after that? Or, vice versa?

    Reply
  6. Skylark

    Tom can go first, since he offered first. :-)

    Reply

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