Why do we test boundaries? I think in particular of a willful toddler trying to get their way. Or a little closer to home, we’ve got a little dog who while very spoiled will still push the limit. Depending on who she is schmoozing, she may just get her way. Even as adults we are guilty. Driving the speed limit is one example where we may test the boundaries. I don’t think I’m the only lead foot in the world.
The religious leaders were testing Jesus here, and their plotting was not working. Jesus smelled a rat and called them out on their ploy. As you might imagine, Jesus’s response was brilliant. The people were amazed! I love his words, “Give to God what is God’s.”
Everything belongs to God. This is his creation. We live on borrowed time using borrowed things supplied by God. How do we show our gratitude? Many may balk at this, claiming ownership. After all, we work hard for what we have. Our lives are consumed with work so we can afford more stuff. How much are we giving back to God?
Yes. We should be amazed, too. We should be so overflowing with gratitude we can’t wait to give back to God. He doesn’t want it all, but he wants all of us. He wants our devotion. So what does the next example tell us?
Our audience has shifted for one thing. While still religious leaders, Sadducees don’t believe in the resurrection of the dead. They are stuck in a belief that is limiting their understanding of God’s plan. They seem to be trying to trick Jesus, too. Jesus is untouched by their attempt.
Again, Jesus has a brilliant response. The bottom line is they don’t understand the power of God. We don’t either, for that matter. God’s majesty is beyond our comprehension. We are limited by our human frailty and limited reasoning capabilities. It’s not our job to understand how everything works. It is our job to trust that God is working.
We all have questions we’d like answers to. What is stopping us from asking? Do we limit God? Do we assume he is not going to answer our probing questions?
Take a moment to let that sink in. We may be limiting God. While the religious leaders were trying to trap Jesus, we are simply curious. We have no other motive. We want to understand more. God will decide what revelations he gives us. But we need to ask if we want to find out.
Are you ready to be astounded?
Let’s pray. Lord, I am amazed by the beauty of your creation and all that you provide for me every day. Forgive me when I take advantage. Forgive my selfish heart that always wants more. I do want to know your path for me. Am I on the right track? How can I do a better job of living in your will? I wait on you, Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen.