Prayer –O Lord, let me give you everything.
Imagination – (Picture Jesus confronted by the Pharisees.)
Israel had two political groups. One sought total allegiance to Rome. Others sought independence, even by war if necessary. The Pharisees, by this question, hope to trip Jesus, forcing him to take one political position or another. By using the coin, Jesus evades the question, and gives a clear principal to decide these political questions.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)
The Pharisees talked among themselves about how to ensnare Jesus in speech. They sent their disciples with the Herodians saying, ‘Master, we know you are truthful and teach God’s way sincerely. You seek no one’s favor and do not act out of human respect. Therefore, tell us what you think. Is it lawful to pay tribute to Caesar or not? Jesus, knowing their hypocrisy said, “Why do you tempt me, you hypocrites? Show me the coin used for the tax.”
When they handed him a small Roman coin, he asked them, “Whose inscription is this?” “Caesar’s”, they replied. He said, “Then give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” Their amazement knew no bounds.
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- The Pharisees are not open to Jesus’ word because they have their own ideas.
- They begin with flattery, trying to hide their inner wickedness.
- What they say is true. Jesus is truthful, a man from God, who does not seek human favor.
- Jesus reads their hearts. They are hypocrites, pretending to be his friend but ready to betray him.
- They bring forth their deadly question, which is meant to destroy Jesus’ popularity.
- Jesus’ wisdom is greater and he wins the debate.
- What is important is that we give God all we owe.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- Jesus, change my heart, make it open to your word.
- Reveal my inner wickedness. Strip me of all pretense. Let me stand naked in your truth.
- O Jesus, you have come from God and you have returned to God. You are my way to the Father.
- O Jesus, I surrender all my rights into your loving hands. Whom else should I trust?
- What do I owe you, Lord? Everything!
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own)
- I will see Jesus as the One sent by the Father.
- I will give Jesus all that is his.
Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)
Render to God, what is God’s.