The Money Thing
“. . . sent some the Pharisees and Herodians to Him in order that they might trap Him . . .” Mark 12:13
“The church talks too much about money,” has often been the charge leveled at God’s leaders and His community. It seems like there’s always a leader soliciting funds for their latest building endeavor. The repeated calls for collections and contributions are nothing more than corporate greed done in the guise of “doing God’s work.” In defensiveness, many have turned a deaf ear to the church. Proclaiming “I want to follow God, but don’t talk to me about money.” For many, it’s a touchy subject, it always has been.
The Pharisees and the Herodians were not natural allies. Both were loyal to extremely different ideologies. Yet, they were both in agreement regarding their hatred for Jesus. These two groups had teamed up to “trap and destroy” Jesus. Now unified by hostility, the Pharisees and Herodians pose a question about money. The question was designed to place Jesus in a dilemma. Regardless of Jesus’ answer, they would succeed in bringing His ministry and popularity to an end. Though their question was clever, it’s clear that Jesus was exposing a personalissue.
The issue of Jesus and money make us squirm. It reveals we own nothing, not even our own life. We have been placed in this world by God’s work and power. The condition of our life is maintained by God’s goodness. We possess all we have as a trust from God Himself. Jesus’ presence in our money reminds us that our presumed independence is a sign of the sin that separates us from God. It forces us to face the unfamiliar, but freeing, truth that we are God’s and true contentment comes from submitting to His will.
The money thing shows us we are not just in need of minor repair, but are totally broken and the only way to recover a meaningful life is by being restored to a proper relationship with God. This means a complete reorientation of our view of Jesus and money. Before we can be generous in our getting and giving, we must set our feet on the path that leads back to God.
Have you shut Jesus out of your money issues?