“Well then,” he said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.”
Luke 20:25 NLT
I pray the Lord’s Prayer often. I love it, for every aspect of the Christian walk is included. It clearly expresses the reality of two kingdoms that are in conflict with each other. A material kingdom within which we live out our life in the earth, which is then contrasted with a heavenly one that is immaterial, yet finds expression through the life of the Church and its members, you and me.
Here I experience a tension between reaching for God’s kingdom in contrast to the reality of all I encounter and experience in my everyday life. While I can intellectually grasp the reality of the possibility of God’s rule, my priority, navigating the immediate realities I face, often means that I conform far too readily to the world around me.
Very practically Jesus acknowledges the coin of his day, bearing the head of Caesar, was in fact entirely a product of this world. Its capacity to impact or influence God’s coming kingdom was immaterial. It was simply something that enjoyed value only within the rules created by humanity for its commercial usage. There’s nothing in God’s kingdom that can be valued financially. This is difficult in a world that has framed itself almost entirely in economic terms. That Jesus had so little interest in wealth causes me to reflect upon my own financial wants and worries. They can only ever be distractions from the reality that lies at the heart of God’s kingdom.
I find this deeply unsettling for I’ve invested time and energy in securing my financial well-being. I’ve not been too successful to date, mind you. However, I guess that depends against who or what I am measuring myself. I wonder if money has been a distraction blinding me to my true kingdom purpose in the earth.
How much of your energies are concerned with your material and financial needs?
Lord Jesus, may I not be worried about what I eat or drink, but instead, help me to seek first the kingdom of God.