‘Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’ Matthew 22:21
Christians have sometimes turned to this passage to address issues of church and state. While this text can be helpful in that regard, its main point has to do with people who claim religious authority but who do not obey God—people whom Jesus identifies as hypocrites (22:18). It calls us to review and to renew our commitment to God.
The Pharisees send their disciples to question Jesus. If these disciples—amateurs—can get the best of Jesus, their junior status will enhance their victory. If they fail to get the best of Jesus—not likely given their excellent question—the Pharisees will not be personally embarrassed. It is a good tactical move on the part of the Pharisees, but cowardly. The Pharisees and Herodians are brought together, in this instance, by their opposition to Jesus.
Their question is short and to the point: “Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?”
Jesus is the source of God’s wisdom–his wisdom shows through in his answer to this test by the Pharisees and Herodians. If they, and we, would leave an encounter with this biblical text amazed at the Jesus portrayed there–a Jesus not easily categorized, a Jesus wise in his answers to testing, a Jesus whose first allegiance is to the all-encompassing scope of God’s reign–then we will have done our job.
Vicar’s Note: Our mid-week prayer and bible reflection on Wednesday, 5:30-6:30 p.m, via zoom, will be from Matthew 22:34-46. Hope you can take part in this event. Our office secretary will send out the zoom ID at the beginning of each week.
The 2020 Order of the Diocese of New Westminster (O.D.N.W.), will honour our very own Leo Golden at a combined worship service on Sunday, November 1st, 9 a.m. Due to some safety restrictions, we will have coffee and fellowship after the church service observing physical distancing. We would like to invite you to witness the investiture service for our brother Leo.
Our sister church, Christ the Redeemer Anglican Church, Cloverdale will host an All Saint’s-All Souls event on Sunday, Nov. 1st, 5-7 p.m. All are Welcome. For more details, please see the brochures at the back of our church.
The Venerable Louie Engnan, Vicar.