Week 11, Thursday, Mark 12:13-17

 Mark Devotionals

by, Rev. Sunil Balasundaram

Go to Mark 12:13-17

[Please read and meditate on the passage before (or after) reading the devotion.]

 

I wish I could be so wise in giving people such replies when they try to trap me. But Jesus wasn’t trying to be clever when he answered, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” Sure, that strange but convenient alliance of the super-religious and the pro-establishment was out to trap Jesus with their trick question of who to pay taxes to. The super-religious would emphasize giving only to the Temple (and thereby to the Jewish nation), and denying Rome; the pro-establishment would say just the opposite in order to keep the status quo (and peace with Rome). But for Jesus it wasn’t a case of just fulfilling your duties or the Law. It never is for God (more later in verses 30 & 31). The deeper question is: How do you see yourself and your possessions in relation to the world, and in relation to God? Yes, to be part of the world we need to fulfill our responsibility to society. But we can best do that by first fulfilling our responsibility to God. And what do you think that is? (Does yesterday’s devotion give a hint?)

 

Prayer: Father, I remember reading in Proverbs 9:10 that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” You really don’t want me to show the world that I belong to you by giving people clever answers to their (cunning) questions, do you, Lord. Help me to be a witness to them by my genuine (authentic) devotion to you in all that I am (my identity), and through all that I have (my possessions). I know that only by doing this will I reveal my love, respect, and awe of you, and strangely I will also want to fulfill my responsibility to the society I live in – for your sake! Teach me, change me, and work through me, my Savior, Lord, and Holy One. Amen.

Listen to song by Matt Redman


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