Daily Devotional for June 20
June 20 Luke 20:19-26
Paying Taxes to Caesar
"So they watched him, and sent spies, who
pretended to be sincere, that they might take
hold of what he said, so as to deliver him up to
the authority and jurisdiction
of the governor."
This particular story is one that is often described as having
a very clear message about the laws of governments versus
the laws of God. Today, however, the part that strikes me is
the part about the spies who were playing dirty tricks on Jesus.
The chief priests and teachers of the law sent spies to Jesus.
Their intentions were apparently very clear: they wanted Jesus
out of the way. Their fear and insecurity prevented them from
really listening to his message. Instead, they wanted above all
to protect their positions.
As I reflect upon their actions and attitude, I realize that in
many ways I, too, ask God a lot of "trick questions," devis-
ing little tests to try to make sure that there really is a God
and that God is what I want God to be. These trick questions
go: "If there really is a God, how could - happen?"; or "I
didn't get what I prayed for, so how do I know God really
cares about me?"; or "If there really is a God, then let God
give me a specific sign."
There is nothing wrong with asking questions about life and
addressing questions to God, of course. Today's Gospel,
however, challenges us to examine the sincerity of our hearts
and to recognize that trick questions will not bring us into
God's presence. Knowing ourselves and opening ourselves to
the impact of God in our lives - these are the things that will
bring us closer to a full knowledge of God.
Holy One, I ask you with a sincere heart to
show me yourself as you are, not as I would imagine
you. Quiet my mind that I may open my spirit to
the experience of your abiding presence.
From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle
Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C.