The main thing: Jesus has a serious question for us. Jesus wants an answer. Jesus will patiently wait. Jesus is smiling. Jesus is not mad.
Why am I playing games with (testing) Jesus? I don’t have a good reason. I am sometimes afraid of what total commitment looks like. I know Jesus wants everything. Jesus won’t put up with me holding back. I seek to change the subject by asking questions that aren’t relevant.
Will I pull a “rich young ruler” move and end up walking away? The rich young ruler, like the religious leaders, started with a question of Jesus. Will I follow Jesus, no matter what, like Peter, James and John?
I get to choose.
I choose Jesus. I choose Jesus today. I will give God what is his, which is my total love of my whole heart and with whole soul and with whole mind.
They sent some Pharisees and followers of Herod to bait him, hoping to catch him saying something incriminating. They came up and said, “Teacher, we know you have integrity, that you are indifferent to public opinion, don’t pander to your students, and teach the way of God accurately. Tell us: Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”
He knew it was a trick question, and said, “Why are you playing these games with me? Bring me a coin and let me look at it.” They handed him one.
“This engraving—who does it look like? And whose name is on it?”
“Caesar,” they said.
Jesus said, “Give Caesar what is his, and give God what is his.” Their mouths hung open, speechless.
Mark 12:13-17 (The Message Bible)