Pretending to be honest!
Scripture reading for April 20th: Luke 20:1-26
“The teachers of the Law and the chief priests looked for a way to arrest Him immediately, because they knew He had spoken this parable against them. But they were afraid of the people. Keeping a close watch on Him, they sent spies, who pretended to be honest. They hoped to catch Jesus in something He said so that they might hand Him over to the power and authority of the governor.” (Luke 20:19-20)
Jesus had just told a parable of a man owning a vineyard and renting it out to tenants and going away for a long time. As this owner sent servants to collect some of the fruit as rent, they mistreated these servants. The owner finally sent his son, thinking that they would respect him. These tenants got together and plotted how to kill the son and get the inheritance. When the people heard this story, they shouted, “May this never be!” (Luke 20:18b) This was the story that the Pharisees knew directly related to them. Jesus had exposed their plan to those who would listen.
These Pharisees went right on with their plot to catch and kill Jesus, the Son of God who owned the vineyard of Israel! The found some spies who would pretend to be honest! This really caught my attention. If I was going to do an acting job, how would I ‘act honest’? Would I “pretend” to be Jesus’ disciple? Would I ‘pretend’ to tell the truth, but really be lying as to my real motive? Could I act ‘sincere’ but really have murder in my heart?
That is what these fakes did! They asked Jesus about paying taxes to Caesar. Jesus had great discerning of spirits and saw through their trap. He turned the tables on them, as usual, asking them whose inscription was on the coin. When they answered “Caesar’s”, He told them, “Then give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” (Luke 20:25) The coin belonged to Caesar, but they had God’s image on their soul and should give themselves to God!
When it comes to Jesus, do you listen with the intent to obey? Or are you just pretending to be honest? Jesus knows the truth and will answer you accordingly! Why not drop all pretense and make Him Lord!