But Jesus knew that these men were really trying to trick him. Jesus said, "Why are you trying to catch me saying something wrong? Bring me a silver coin. Let me see it." They gave Jesus a coin and Jesus asked, "Whose picture is on the coin? And whose name is written on it?" They answered, "It is Caesar's picture and Caesar's name."
— Mark 12:15-16
Jesus' opponents could not play games or trick him. He knew their hearts. He knew what was inside people. He still does! Rather than trying to play games with Jesus or pretend we are something we are not, why not be honest. He came so we could be honest with him and with God. When we are weak, let's be honest about our weakness and vulnerability. When we are weary, let's go to him for rest. When we are grief-stricken and sad, let's go to him for comfort. When we are confused, let's be honest about our confusion and ask for his wisdom and discernment. When we are angry, let's confess our anger and its source to him. Jesus knows us. Let's be honest and come to him for grace and not try to pretend we are something we are not. Our games may not be based upon the same kind of deceit that his opponents used to try to trick him, but deceit, dishonesty, and pretension are still tools Satan uses to keep our hearts away from the Savior.
O LORD God, please forgive me. I confess to you that I have sometimes tried to be something in your presence that I am not. Even though I believe you know me through and through, I still sometimes fear bringing you the darker sides of my personality and the most deeply wounded parts of my heart. Please cure me of my pretension and deliver me from deception. I want to be honest as well as reverent in your presence, dear God, my Abba Father. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Today's Verses in Context
Later, the Jewish leaders sent some Pharisees and some men from the group called Herodians to Jesus. They wanted to catch Jesus saying something wrong. The Pharisees and Herodians went to Jesus and said, "Teacher, we know that you are an honest man. You are not afraid of what other people think about you. All men are the same to you. And you teach the truth about God's way. Tell us: Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar ? Yes or no? Should we pay taxes, or should we not pay taxes?" But Jesus knew that these men were really trying to trick him. Jesus said, "Why are you trying to catch me saying something wrong? Bring me a silver coin. Let me see it." They gave Jesus a coin and Jesus asked, "Whose picture is on the coin? And whose name is written on it?" They answered, "It is Caesar's picture and Caesar's name." Then Jesus said to them, "Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar's. And give to God the things that are God's." The men were amazed at what Jesus said.
Related Scripture Readings
Kind words are like a Tree of Life. But lying words will crush a man's spirit.
Those children are people with physical bodies. So Jesus himself became like those people and had the same experiences people have. Jesus did this so that, by dying, he could destroy the one who has the power of death. That one is the devil. Jesus became like those people and died so that he could free them. They were like slaves all their lives because of their fear of death. Clearly, it is not angels that Jesus helps. Jesus helps the people who are from Abraham. For this reason Jesus had to be made like us his brothers and sisters in every way. Jesus became like people so that he could be their merciful and faithful high priest in service to God. Then Jesus could bring forgiveness for the people's sins. And now Jesus can help those people who are tempted. Jesus is able to help because he himself suffered and was tempted.
During the cool part of the day, the Lord God was walking in the garden. The man and the woman heard him, and they hid among the trees in the garden. The Lord God called to the man and said, "Where are you?" The man said, "I heard you walking in the garden, and I was afraid. I was naked, so I hid."