What Jesus Did! 'Seeing Through Hypocrisy' — Mark 12:15-16

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Jesus saw through [the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and supporters of Herod] and said, "Why are you trying to trap me? Show me a Roman coin, and I'll tell you [whether it's right to pay taxes to Caesar]." When they handed it to him, he asked, "Whose picture and title are stamped on it?"

"Caesar's," they replied.

— Mark 12:15-16 NLT

Key Thought

Jesus' opponents could not successfully 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 on 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.

Today's Prayer

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.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Proverbs 15:4
  • Hebrews 2:14-18
  • Genesis 3:8-10


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Illustration of Mark 12:15-16 NLT — "Caesar's,"

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.