October 21, 2020
But, knowing their hypocrisy, [Jesus] said to them, “Why put me to the test? Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.” And they brought one. And he said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said to him, “Caesar’s.” Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they marveled at him.
One of the most wonderful things God does is ask us questions. Both in Scripture and in our real lives, God is always posing questions. And the really beautiful part? He doesn’t ask because He needs the info, He asks because we do! In our passage, Jesus asks his opponents an unexpected question to help them see the bigger picture. In the same way, God is constantly encouraging us to wrestle with ideas we have simply not yet grasped or even entertained.
Many years ago we were returning from a terrific vacation with three other church families. “Man, what a great trip!” I thought to myself. “I’ve never known such friendships. This church is the best.”
Right at that moment a question popped into my mind: “Would you leave this church if God asked you to?”
In hindsight, I realized that was God gently speaking to me, but at the time I didn’t think much about it. It seemed rhetorical anyway, and not a command. But how would I answer if I had to? Would we leave these people we love so much, if we knew for sure it was God asking?
Honestly, I didn’t know. This church, this town, it had all become our home. These people were like family. And that’s when I realized my answer.
No. No, I wouldn’t leave. I don’t want to leave! Even if I knew it was God asking, I would say no. That’s how I truly felt. (And immediately, I flinched inside… Wow, am I allowed to even think things like that?)
God never actually did ask us to leave that church (and a few years later that church closed its doors anyway). But much later, I realized that was my first lesson in a long class I’m taking called, “Just Be Honest with God!” God wasn’t throwing random commands at me that day – He was beginning to teach me how to communicate with Him, to simply tell Him how I really feel, what I’m actually thinking, no matter what. And He’s still teaching to this day. Usually with more questions!
Is God asking any questions of you today? How honestly are you answering those questions? What new ideas or perspectives might He be challenging you to consider, especially those that, perhaps, you don’t want to hear?