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Archive for July 9th, 2020


Thursday, July 9, 2020

"Show me a denarius," Jesus said. "Whose portrait and title are on it?"

“Show me a denarius,” Jesus said. “Whose portrait and title are on it?”

Luke 20:23

Awareness of Cunning

So they waited their opportunity and sent agents as upright men, and to catch him out in something he might say and so enable them to hand him over to the jurisdiction and authority of the governor . . . They put to him this question, “Master, we know that you say and teach what is right; you favor no one but teach the way of God in all honesty.  Is it permissible for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” But he was aware of their cunning . . .

Sometimes we send our own agents as the upright.  Sometimes we stand in open and full light.  Sometimes we are the upright who are sent as one of the cunning.  Sometimes we stand with the Master to witness.

God says: I know that you live in a complicated world of complex alliances and arrangements.  I know that once you have established yourself with a group it is difficult to go against them even when you know they are off in the wrong direction. I know that you love me and rely on the fact that I am forgiving, and so I am.  But there is no need for duplicity or deceit.  It is not necessary to come at me sideways.  Am I not always open and honest with you?  There is no need for you to be cunning with me since I know all that you think and all that you do. So come to me and render to me what is divine . . . and so shall you come into your own divinity. 

Straightforwardness, constancy, honesty.  We know what we must render to Caesar and we know what we must render to God.  Let us not hesitate . . . and let us stay well away from any thought or word or deed that is duplicitous . . . for Jesus is aware of our cunning.


For other reflections on this blog about this story, enter Luke 20 into the search bar.

To read different translations of this verse, click on the citation above or go to: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%2020:20-23&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;EXB

The emperor portrayed on the denarius above is Tiberius.  He ruled from the year 14 to 37 C.E.  To learn more about this coin, go to: http://topicalbible.org/d/denarius.htm

The denarius is often called a tribute penny. To discover more, visit: https://www.forumancientcoins.com/numiswiki/view.asp?key=Tribute%20Penny

Image from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tribute_penny

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