What a lot of pretense there is in the world. So many of us create an image to project before others, sometimes even practicing self-deception. The medicine for this is the daily reading of the word of God. But like all medicines effectiveness depends on how and what we take! Do we only read the parts we like or that we consider relevant or do we meditate on all parts including those which illustrate how deceptive human beings can be toward each other?
Luke 20 is about the insincerity of the scribes and the chief priests (verse 19). Wary of the crowd, “they watched and sent spies , who pretended to be sincere that they might catch him in something he said and so deliver him up to the authority and jurisdiction of the governor” (verse 20). In their insincerity they said something they did not really believe! “Teacher we know that you speak and teach rightly, and show no partiality, but truly teach the way of God” (verse 21). Do we say true things but with an insincere mind? Do we put on a front for selfish reasons? Sadly this sometimes happens and let us not deceive ourselves that it does not.
These wily men came to Jesus with their clever question, “Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar or not?” (verse 22). Jesus silenced them with his answer. But we must ponder his answer – ‘Are we rendering to God the things that are God’s?’ What do we have that belongs to God? Do not we ourselves belong to God? Paul told the Corinthians, “You were bought with a price” (1 Corinthians 6:20), and that price was the blood of God’s only Son. As a result we are Christ’s fellow workers, and we should reflect the sincerity and character of Christ as we work.