Today’s readings.. (1 Chronicles 10), (Ezekiel 23), (Luke 20)

What a lot of pretense there is in the world.  So many create an ‘image’ to project before others!  While politicians are probably the best example of this, let us not practice any self-deception, for such is our own human nature; the spirit of the age cannot help but have some influence on us.
The ‘medicine’ to correct this is the daily reading of the word of God.  But like the medicine for physical health it depends how and what we take!  Do we only read the parts we like or that we feel are relevant to our own perceived needs and interests?  Our reading must include meditation on those parts which illustrate how deceptive human beings can be toward each other – and take special note of the antidote ‘medicine’, such as in the book of Proverbs.
Today’s reading in Luke ch. 20 is about the insincerity of “the scribes and the chief priests” [v.19]  Wary of the potential reaction of the people who thronged about Jesus, “they watched and sent spies , who pretended to be sincere that they might catch him in something he said and so deliver him up to the authority and jurisdiction of the governor.” [v.20]
In their insincerity they said something they did not really believe!  They said, “Teacher we know that you speak and teach rightly, and show no partiality, but truly teach the way of God.” [v.21] Can we say things which are “true” and yet say them with an insincere mind?  Can we, as many others, put on a “front” for some purpose to gain some advantage; quite often it is a material advantage?  Sadly we have sensed that this sometimes happens in countries in which we are doing missionary work – but let us not deceive ourselves that it never happens here.
These wily men came to Jesus with what they thought was a clever question, “Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar or not?” [v.22] and the verses which follow show how he silenced them with his answer!  But let us ponder his answer ourselves and ask ourselves the question – ‘Are we rendering to God the things that are Gods?’
What do we have that belongs to God? Do not we ourselves belong to God?  Paul told the Corinthians, “You were bought with a price” [1Cor.6 v.20] and that price was the blood of God’s only Son.
Let us realise the position we are in as a result!  “We are God’s fellow workers” [3 v.9] and we should more and more reflect the sincerity and character of Christ as we “work” for Christ and the Father and reveal them in our own small and humble ways to those around us; the more they sense our sincerity the more at least some will listen..


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