Friday, October 17, 2014

Lectionary 29 A - Matthew 22:15-22

Matthew 22:15-22
This text is not about taxes. There were no options when Rome demanded it’s due and lawful or not the tax collector didn’t care what you think as long as you paid the bill. So Jesus isn’t making a statement about the separation of church and state or the two kingdom principle or anything remotely political. He is turning the table on hypocrites who aren’t interested in his answer as long as it traps Jesus and gets him killed. But their trick question gets a trick response and they go away marveled even if they were cursing under their breath. When we try to trick Jesus into taking sides by using any word about Jesus to support one political position over another we are like Pharisees making a deal with the devils of their day (Herodians) in order entrap Jesus. That’s not to say the scriptures don’t encourage all kinds of things that may or may not be emphasized on one side of the political line or the other. But Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world (John 18:26) and is apolitical. In the end all of our life belongs to God whose image is imprinted on our hearts and the only thing lawful for us is the law of love.

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