The Lord Thy God! Luke 20:19-26

ten commandments

Remember this? The ten commandments? God gave them to the Israelites to keep them from destruction and they are found on Exodus 20:1-17. We sure like to think that this does not apply to us anymore but does it not? didn’t Jesus say in Matthew 5:17 that He did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it? perhaps the more popular view would be to believe that knowing Jesus and accepting His love is all we have to do. Love, Love, Love.

Love is the key! Certainly Jesus died for us out of love! God sent Jesus to pay for our sins out of love! We are saved by grace out of love! The question is what are you and I doing out of love for Him? God has always said that He wants our hearts. He wants us to love Him. 1 Samuel 15:22 says: “Tell me,” Samuel said. “Does the Lord really want sacrifices and offerings? No! He doesn’t want your sacrifices. He wants you to obey him. Hosea 6:6, Psalm 51:16-17 are also scriptures that point to this as well..

Over and over It is said in His word that He wants our love. If you have read Luke 20:19-26 you maybe asking where am I going with this? Sure, This scripture points out to what we know it was happening already. From the moment Jesus started His ministry, we read that the teachers of the law were fuming at His teachings and wanted to get rid of Him.

We are told that they sent spies who pretended to pass by “good people” to try to catch The Lord in doing something worthy of His demise. Imagine that? They had tried this already. To fool Jesus? This is actually comic! These people thought they were clever for they came up with some good stuff. The question they threw at the Lord was of a double edge sword.

They asked: Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not? If Jesus had answered that it was, He would have been upsetting the people and if He answered that it wasn’t the report would have been given to the Romans so that perhaps they would do the  “dirty work” All this was old news though. This dance had been danced already and this tune had been played and heard.

The tune that you and I need to pay attention to is Jesus’s answer to them. He said: Show me a denarius. Whose likeness and inscription does it have? They said Caesars. What do you and I say? The world? America? my money? My phone? my cars? my house? my job? my kids? my boss? my wife/husband? my beauty? my body? my pleasures? my drugs? my alcohol? my girlfriend/boyfriend? Sex? my status? my position in church? my good works? my goodness? my knowledge? my theology? my control over things…get the point?

Jesus said to them: “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. He says to us give all those things their due place for they are part of the world you live in but give me your heart. Not your heart as of your physical heart but the core of your existence. The motor of your Spirit, of your soul.

Often we think that in our heart is where we find love. When we really think about what the heart does; Not really. It is the motor of our physical body. The heart is only a physical example of what the heart of your true being is. The core of your spirit; of your soul. How is the core of your soul? does it love God? is it striving to know Him more? Is it making Him priority over all?

It is no wonder that God gave us the first commandment as a reminder of the core of our existence. I am The Lord thy God. Thou shall not have strange Gods before Me. The second is likewise. Thy shall not take the name of the Lord in vain. These first commandments are truly what keeps us in line. They are primordial for as we keep Him in the center of our lives, we are kept from drifting away into the unknown.

There is so much given to us in this world. Centered on God, we find the balance and the pleasures they bring. Away from God, they can become gods themselves and as such, our demise. As Jesus have paid for our sins, we are free to build on developing the relationship God wants to have with us. He has given us the ability to have a choice to give Caesar what is Caesar’s and to give God what is God’s. Which one do you choose?