Scripture: Mark 12:13–27
Key verse: (17) 17Jesus said to them, ‘Give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’ And they were utterly amazed at him.
Reflection: In seminary I had a friend who had two Bibles. One was her class Bible that had furiously scribbled notes and underlined texts as we parsed and dug deep into spiritual truth and historical context. The other Bible was her devotional Bible, kept clean of notes and free of any rigorous study. This was the Bible she prayed with and read at day’s beginning and day’s end. I think she was missing the point. We don’t live in two worlds but bring to this world all of ourselves so that God can use every gift given.
In today’s text, Jesus is not setting up two opposing kingdoms, one ruled by God, one by Caeser, and we have to figure out where and when we live in each. That would be giving an awful lot of power to Caeser. When Jesus looks at the coin he sees that Caesar’s face marks the coin. Clearly that is Caesar’s. What is marked by Caeser belongs to Caeser. But, what is marked by God, let that be God’s.
There’s the rub is it not? Have you ever met someone that did not bear the mark of God? True you sometimes have to look awhile, but it is there. We were created in the image of God everyone of us and I have yet to discover a piece of land, a patch of sky, a ripple of water that did not in some way point to the mark and glory of God.
If we gave to God everything that was God’s, gulp, we would need to give…
Prayer: God our Creator, your love is at work in all that you have made.
Son of God, in your likeness we are made new.
Holy Spirit, you touch our lives with hope.
Receive our efforts this day and claim us for your service.
Give us words to praise you, love to serve you, joy in sharing you.
Set us free to delight and trust in you.
May we be caught up in all your wonder and mystery, for your kingdom and power are so much greater than us.
Author: Derek Macleod
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].