“Hypocrites in the Church? Yes, and in the lodge and at the home. Don't hunt through the Church for a hypocrite. Go home and look in the mirror. Hypocrites? Yes. See that you make the number one less.”
Gospel Text: Mk 12:13-17
Some Pharisees and Herodians were sent
to Jesus to ensnare him in his speech.
They came and said to him,
"Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man
and that you are not concerned with anyone's opinion.
You do not regard a person's status
but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.
Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?
Should we pay or should we not pay?"
Knowing their hypocrisy he said to them,
"Why are you testing me?
Bring me a denarius to look at."
They brought one to him and he said to them,
"Whose image and inscription is this?"
They replied to him, "Caesar's."
So Jesus said to them,
"Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar
and to God what belongs to God."
They were utterly amazed at him.
I recently watched a debate between two men about the existence of God. Both were very intelligent and seemed very sincere. However, it didn’t take long for me to realize that the debate was not about God. It wasn’t about finding the truth. It was about establishing who was the smarter of the two - who could win the debate. It seemed so fruitless.
If you have the opportunity to talk to someone about God, why would you turn it into a contest? Why not attempt to find the truth? Try to make the other person’s life better. Knowing Jesus does not make me better than them. Knowing Jesus just makes my life better.
It is so easy for our focus to move from Christ to the world. If the focus is on the world, we’ll be worried about winning. If the focus is on the world, even if we win, we will only receive what the world has to offer.
I can think of no greater gift than to introduce someone to Christ. And yet sometimes we approach non-believers like we are entering some kind of contest. Can we trick someone into a relationship with Christ? If my goal is to simply win the debate game, will my opponent see Christ in me?