Longing to Belong

The Word we consider today finds the Pharisees and supporters of Herod trying to trap Jesus into saying something or doing something that will give them reason to arrest him. Little has changed in the 2,000 years since.  We still look for reasons to take Jesus out of the picture of our lives. Jesus was the living example of loving your neighbor, of honesty, of fair treatment, of impartiality. Are we expected to live into those same values? Are we to give our heart, our entire being, our belongings, our family, basically all that we have and are to God? What in our lives do we give to God and what to this material world?

Mark 12:13-17 (NLT)
13 Later the leaders sent some Pharisees and supporters of Herod to trap Jesus into saying something for which he could be arrested. 14 “Teacher,” they said, “we know how honest you are. You are impartial and don’t play favorites. You teach the way of God truthfully. Now tell us—is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not? 15 Should we pay them, or shouldn’t we?”
Jesus saw through their hypocrisy and said, “Why are you trying to trap me? Show me a Roman coin,  and I’ll tell you.” 16 When they handed it to him, he asked, “Whose picture and title are stamped on it?”
“Caesar’s,” they replied.
17 “Well, then,” Jesus said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.”
His reply completely amazed them.

For Prayer and Reflection:
What phrase or word spoke to you as you listened/read?

What amazes you about Jesus’ response?

What do you want to say to Jesus about this text? What does Jesus say to you in response?

Where do you notice your deep longing to belong? or a temptation to try real hard to fit in? When have you experienced a sense of belonging to God? What has that been like for you? Ask Jesus to give you a greater sense of belonging to him and his Father.