Thursday, July 24, 2014
One situation Jesus encountered often during the time of His earthly ministry was the attempt of his opponents to try to trap Him in His own words. In one particular example found in the 22nd Chapter of Matthew, they first tried to set Him up with flattering words by telling Him they knew He was a man of integrity who taught God’s truth. Then they asked Him a question they were convinced would put Him on a spot no matter how he answered. The question was, “is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” They knew if He said yes they could accuse Him of siding with the Romans and being against His own people and if He said no, they could report Him to the Roman authorities as a trouble making rebel. Jesus would not be trapped and answered"Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."
Unfortunately this devilish little game is still played today and since we are not as spiritually equipped as Jesus was, we are seldom wise or careful enough to avoid being trapped. I’m sure I don’t have to remind you of several high profile personalities who have been really hurt by their replies to such loaded questions. I believe that those who are put into these catch 22 situations the most are those who openly profess Christ as their Savior. Why, because those who hold strong spiritual beliefs generally have a totally different mindset than the general world view. It should be obvious to everyone today that we are living in a time when people seem to be more divided than ever concerning politics, delicate social issues, or other matters. Because of that, we need to be more mindful and prepared than ever when we are pressured into giving our opinion on things. Here is some great biblical advice for us in case we find ourselves in that position. But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. (1 Peter 3:15)
One thing that troubles me concerning opposing views is that many people, the minute you take a contrary stand to theirs, will immediately start disliking and distrusting you, perhaps even reach the point when they no longer consider you a friend. To me, that is being narrow minded because it is virtually impossible for all of us to always agree in all things. Even so, those who are true friends in the first place will never let differences in mindsets come between them. The best method in determining a persons character is by the way they treat you and others, not so much their stand on life issues.
Memory verse for the week: (Psalm 118:6) The Lord is on my side; I will not fear what man can do unto me.