Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Testing Jesus

Have you ever put Jesus to the test? I mean really...who doesn't?

Towards the end of the book of Matthew, the gospel records instances in which the religious authorities wanted to test Jesus. He had been travelling around the region of Galilee, preaching the good news of the coming of the Kingdom of God on hillsides, dinner tables, and living rooms. He was not the first person to do this. The gospels tell of a previous prophet who preached the same thing-John the Baptist, who announced that the son of God would come. That is where Jesus is unique in his message-he claimed to be the son of God. In hindsight, Christians believe that he was right. But I wonder if we would have believed him then. 

So, they tested him. The religious authorities wanted to provide ample evidence that Jesus was rebellious towards the Roman government. Since Jesus had built a large following in his years of ministry and teaching, his claim to be the son of God was not enough to arrest him, according to the authorities. They feared that a riot would occur. But, if they could prove that he was a potentially dangerous, rebellious man, they could arrest him.

So, they tested him by asking him a simple question: "Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?” He answered: “Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” He was aware of their ploy. 

Jesus knows when we put him to the test (even if we do not know it ourselves). At the end of this passage, it says "When they heard this, they were amazed; and they left him and went away." Jesus' awareness surprised them! Has Jesus ever surprised you in that way? 

Sometimes, when I struggle to find the presence of God in my life, I ask God to just give me a sign, and the discernment to know that it was God. Perhaps you have asked God something similar. Maybe that is testing God...and maybe we will be amazed by God, who is always aware of what we are doing, and sticks with us anyway...


His name is Wonderful 
Jesus my Lord 
He is the mighty King 
Master of ev'rything 
His name is Wonderful 
Jesus my Lord 
He's the Great Shepherd 
The rock of all ages 
Almighty God is He 
Bow down before Him 
Love and adore Him 
His name is Wonderful 
Jesus my Lord

In Christ, 


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