Now to today’s post…I was having a discussion with an unusual Bible teacher of mine. He is a dear friend of mine who I feel is so deep but does not tap into his own depth as much as he could. If he did, I think he would be out of this world by now. We were on a train journey and I literally wished I could record our conversation, that’s how much I learned from him. Anyways, one message led to another and it is funny how in a few verses, a whole book could be written. For the purposes of this post, however, I’ll stick to just two central issues.
Mark 12:17 was explained to me in a way I have never ever heard of before and I thought to share the insight with you all.
To have a good understanding of the message in it, I will start from verse 13:
13And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words.
14And when they were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?
15Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see it.
16And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar’s.
17And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him.
Basically, the Pharisees were looking for a way to ‘legally’ get rid of Jesus but He was just too wise for them. Now, first lesson: when they sought to destroy Him, which method did they resort to? His words. The Bible says ‘they send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words.’
When people want to destroy you, the easiest way to do so is through your speech-the things you say, the words you utter. These can redeem you or destroy you. Matthew 12:37 says that For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned. So we need to be very careful. Even random sayings attest to the fact that it is ‘Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and confirm it’.
If and when you must speak, let your words edify, let them build up, let them be seasoned with salt. Ensure that nothing you say can be used to ‘trap’ you. In this day and age, with everything being electronic now, we also need to watch our e-words, the things we tweet, DMs we send, BBM responses we give, BBM broadcasts we pass on, etc. That is one lesson I learned from that passage.
Now unto what was taught me, after the Pharisees and Herodians sent to Jesus had asked Him the question, He responded thus: Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. For a long time, I thought it meant something along the lines of ‘pay your taxes’/ ‘pay your tithe’ but a new light was shed on it and I will now attempt to reproduce the knowledge.
How did Jesus come to the answer He gave them? He first asked them for a coin and said, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar’s. It was after this that Jesus said that we should give to Caesar what belongs to him- the coin on which is image is inscribed and that which should give to God what belongs to God. However, he pretty much left a space blank. He did not tell us what belongs to God. Using the analogy provided, we ought to be able to arrive at the answer.
The coin belongs to Caesar because his image is on it. In like reasoning, we belong to God because His image is on us! Therefore we need to give ourselves to God. Wow! I’m sorry but I was blown away! I found it so profound.
It is not about trying to lead a religious life, no! It is about being totally lost in love with God, giving ourselves to Him. When we do this totally and completely, every other thing will follow naturally without us having to ‘ascertain’ whether this is right or that is wrong. We will simply seek to please God and do His will.
I pray God will continue to grant us divine insights into His word.
I’m presently studying 1 Samuel and I am enthralled by things I totally missed when I had read it earlier. I can’t wait to share!
There is something new to learn from God’s word every time! Please, jump on it. Study it. Take your time. Every word means something. Every punctuation mark has its intentions. I know when I was a student writing an essay that had a 10, 000 word limit for example, I would probably start off with 15,500 words in the ‘completed’ draft and would have to go through what every true writer knows to be a painful process of mercilessly cutting down words. After much pruning, you get it down to the desired length. At this stage, anything that makes the cut must be important. I think the same thing goes for the Word of God. We should enjoy dwelling on it and I know that God’s Word will build us up. It is a lamp unto our feet that is, to direct our daily/hourly steps and also a light unto our paths, that is, to give us a long term idea of the way to go.
On a slightly different note, I want us to pray for the young generation-our generation that God’s hands of protection will dwell on us richly and that the spirit of untimely death will no longer have a part to play in our lives. I’m totally fed up of hearing of guys in their 20s dying. Together we stand to declare, no more untimely death!