DATE POSTED Sunday, 2021-10-03
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL
SCRIPTURE FROM: Luke 20:20-22
TRANSLATION: New Century Version (NCV)
BIBLE TEXT: 20 So they watched Jesus and sent some spies who acted as if they were sincere. They wanted to trap Jesus in saying something wrong so they could hand him over to the authority and power of the governor. 21 So the spies asked Jesus, “Teacher, we know that what you say and teach is true. You pay no attention to who people are, and you always teach the truth about God’s way. 22 Tell us, is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”
APPLICATION: I looked at our focal verses in several translations, and in every case, it was interesting to note that the wicked Pharisees knew about the integrity of Jesus. They knew that they would have to get quite creative to catch Him in something worth arresting Him for. Although churches only exist because of their congregations, yet they often receive very unfavorable reviews by the communities in which they exist. Does this mean that we, as members of our various churches, have lost respect in our communities? Although we can only work on ourselves (one person – self) and not the whole church and its leaders and members, we are faced with the dilemma of what might we do differently to regain the trust of those we come into contact with. I believe there are some things in our Scripture today that will help us. Notice the following things that the spies already knew about Jesus:
—> What you say is true – Will our community leaders say the same thing about us individually? I had a Christian Brother stand before a judge, and although I believe he was wrongly accused, there was nothing that this Brother or us, as his dear friends, could say to convince the court to the contrary of the wicked accusations. Will community leaders believe what we say, because we claim to be a child of the King? If not, then this is a vote against the integrity of the local ‘church’;
—> You treat everyone the same – Our Scripture quotes the spies as saying: You pay no attention to who people are. I wonder, do we treat the millionaire walking in our churches any different to the man in ragged clothes who may not have had a bath in the last day or two? Which one do we find the best seat for, and which one will we believe, if we asked each of them the same question? Perhaps spies are watching for us to show how much we truly care, to prove that we are who we say we are;
—> You always teach the truth about God’s way – This sounds like the spies may have encountered some preachers, evangelists or teachers who couldn’t be trusted in what they taught. Who might be the ‘spies’ in your church, or your Sunday School class, or sitting next to you at work? Might they approve of what they hear from you? Will it confirm their suspicions, or clarify their doubt?
Friends, all of the above contributed to the confidence the spies had gained in judging the integrity of Jesus. They seem to have known that He was who He said He was. They realized that they would have to try extremely hard to trip Him up on their laws, and not God’s law. We must remember that others will not listen to our witness, or our preaching, or our teaching, if they don’t see evidence of what we say in our own lives. A daily communion with God – through reading His Word; and through conversation (prayer) with Him; will help you to learn His ways, understand His expectations for His followers, and excite you about the prospects of heaven, for which Jesus promised that He has gone to prepare for us. We have no one to impress, just share Jesus with the world, and be ready to celebrate His kingdom growth as He works through our efforts.
BLESSING(S) NOTED: Our integrity is developed as we live out who we say we are. Pretense leads to distruction.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, Your Word is clear in directing us how to live – especially in a world that looks intently at everything we do or say. Please Lord, direct us at all times, so that our words and actions will support our commitment to You. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart always be acceptable in Your sight, oh Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. As others watch, whether judgmental or not, may they always see Jesus in and through me, and may He be glorified by those who recognize truth. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!