Spirit of God, fill me with the wisdom I need to remain free of any snare.
Read Luke 20:20–26
 Keeping a close watch on him, they sent spies, who pretended to be sincere. They hoped to catch Jesus in something he said, so that they might hand him over to the power and authority of the governor.  So the spies questioned him: “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach what is right, and that you do not show partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.  Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”  He saw through their duplicity and said to them,  “Show me a denarius. Whose image and inscription are on it?” “Caesar’s,” they replied.  He said to them, “Then give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”  They were unable to trap him in what he had said there in public. And astonished by his answer, they became silent. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow does Jesus engage his opponents?
This is a brilliant question generated by dishonorable motives. Jealous of their own reputation (19), some religious leaders dispatch spies to try and trick Jesus. They pretend to be sincere as they enter into discussion with him. Whatever his reply, there is a trap. Pay taxes to Caesar and Jesus will be held in disapproval for siding with the nation’s greatest oppressor. But if Jesus advocates withholding payment then he will be seen as a revolutionary. Yet it’s not Jesus’ sparkling answer that impresses so much as his attitude. He is, in counseling parlance, congruent. Open, honest and straightforward. He is aware of their game but doesn’t play according to their rules. He confounds his critics and amazes the watching crowd, but Jesus is not playing to the gallery. He is being true to himself and to the One who sent him.
Bring your conflict to the Lord, asking that he might show you how to handle troubled relationships.
Lord, help me neither fear conflict nor create it needlessly.
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