October 19th Scripture Setting: Matthew 22: 15-22
As onlookers to this interchange, it is important to move beyond the tendency to think this scripture is only about politics and how Christians should interact with governments. While the story also illustrates Jesus’ ability to outwit the Pharisees’ malicious intent, we need to go deeper. Jesus is asking them, and us, to distinguish between a government’s jurisdiction and God’s jurisdiction. To whom do we belong? In whatever area we find ourselves—political, social, religious, or economic—we wholly belong to God. All that we have and are come from a generous God.
Jesus’ response does not really solve the problem, he simply moves the discussion to an entirely different realm—God’s. Daily, we face the struggle of placing God at the center of our living, ahead of worldly priorities. Our call as disciples is to make God the priority in our lives. God generously gives to us the many blessings we have in our lives. We receive those blessings and respond with thanksgiving and service to others. Giving thanks for what we have, acknowledging God’s presence in our lives and God’s blessings in our midst helps us gain focus for what is truly important, the kingdom of God. Worship Helps 10/19/2014)