Blessed… The Ah-Ha Moment

Then the Pharisees met together to find a way to trap Jesus in his words. They sent their disciples, along with the supporters of Herod, to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are genuine and that you teach God’s way as it really is. We know that you are not swayed by people’s opinions, because you don’t show favoritism. So tell us what you think: Does the Law allow people to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” Knowing their evil motives, Jesus replied, “Why do you test me, you hypocrites?  Show me the coin used to pay the tax.” And they brought him a denarion. “Whose image and inscription is this?” he asked.  “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then he said, “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” When they heard this they were astonished, and they departed (Matthew 22:15-22, Common English Bible).

Yesterday I began telling you about the time God kept leading me to this passage. It was before I was actually a pastor and the pastor of my home church had asked me to preach. I didn’t want to preach on this passage because I didn’t want to preach about money. Then, in a moment when a light bulb came on in my mind. I had an ah-ha experience where I learned this passage is not really about money at all.

Jesus asks those attempting to trap him for the coin used for the tax. They give it to him and in my mind’s eye I can see Jesus holding the coin with the “heads” side facing his audience. As he holds the coin he points at the head. He asks them, “Whose head, whose face, whose likeness, whose image is that on the coin?”

Of course the Pharisees give a correct answer. They say, “Caesar.”

Then, in my mind I see Jesus take the coin and flip it back to the person who gave him the loan as he says, “Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s. But, give to God the things that are God’s.”

There is something very subtle there. It is easy to miss. Did you catch it? If you didn’t read it the everything above again once or twice before you continue so you can see if you can catch it. Remember, I probably read the passage 50 times or more before I noticed.

Jesus says the coin is Caesar’s, not because it is used for the tax, but because it has Caesar’s face, his image on it. The coin is his, give it to him. So does that mean we are to give our money to a bunch of dead presidents? Possibly, but probably not and if that is what you are thinking you missed the point.

The coin is the emperor’s because it has his image on it. But, what has God’s image on it? Genesis 1:26, “And God said, let us create humanity in our image, our likeness.?

What Jesus is saying God wants, is not your money. What God wants is YOU.

I titled that sermon, “God Doesn’t Need Our Money.” It is a truthful statement. I would insert here, however, God knows the church does.

But, beyond that, God knows that if we have truly given ourselves to God, our money and everything else we have will come with us.

This story is not about giving your tithes. This story is about you and me and whether we have really given God the one thing God wants, us.

How have your given to God the things that are God’s?

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy and Thanksgiving,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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