What Belongs to God?

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

“Jesus said to them, ‘Then give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’” [Luke 20:25]

 Spies who pretended to be honest approached Jesus, hoping to catch him in a trap.  They simply asked, “Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?” A seemingly simple question, yet Jesus doesn’t answer it directly. In typical Jesus fashion, he has a request and then a question. With information in hand, Jesus addresses their original question with a new twist. I am sure that the spies were wishing that hadn’t asked! “Give to God the things that are God’s.” Even the spies, well versed in the Torah, knew that everything belongs to God. Now what are they to do? If everything belongs to God, then giving to God the things that God’s is demanding.  None of what they had or we have is ours; it all belongs to God. How does this realization reshape our understanding of our time, talents and resources? Unfortunately, it is far too easy to forget the things that are God’s, because our culture is based on acquisition and accumulation. When we acquire and accumulate, we label it “mine.” And what’s mine we like to keep. Wrestle with Jesus’ answer noted above, as you accept the challenge to give to God the things that are God’s.


Holy One, your wisdom is like a mirror, for it reveals details that I would rather not see. Help me to see where I still claim jurisdiction over what is actually yours. Give me the courage to share generously all that I have been given. Amen.


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