…we know you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are. Matthew 22:16
Isn’t this something we would all like said about us?! The people saying these things were not exactly kind, they were actually leading up to a question they were hoping would cause Jesus to misspeak. Yet no one could deny His integrity and His Truthful teaching and that He could not be distracted by the opinions of earthly men. His mind and heart were firmly fixed on accomplishing The Fathers will. How might we obtain such focus on the things above rather than the things of this world?
Paul was one that seemed to have matured in faith enough that he did have an incredible ability to remain Kingdom focused through all sorts of distractions. Philippians 1:20-21 states, I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain. In the few verses preceding these Paul tells of some people stirring up trouble for him yet he responds in verse 18, But what does it matter? Paul says that the important thing is that Christ is preached. So if the answer to not being distracted by this world is a maturity of faith, how do we begin to grow our faith in Jesus to a maturity that is like Paul’s?
Lets go back to Matthew 22. Those not so kind people talking to Jesus ask Him if they should pay taxes to Caesar. Jesus’ answer amazed them all; He asked to see the coin and the image on it was Caesar’s, it also contained Caesar’s inscription so Jesus says in verse 21, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” So if we are to assume that the coin with Caesar’s image and inscription inscribed upon it should be given back to Caesar as it belonged to Caesar for his use… what do we gather then from Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him… And… Jeremiah 31:33 …I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts…
We bare the image of God and have His Word written across our hearts! So when Jesus said give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s, the coin belonged to Caesar yet WE ARE GOD’S TREASURE! We bare His image!!! If we want to grow in our faith like Paul and have the world take notice that we remain steadfast in Him regardless of our situation and circumstances we need to FULLY give ourselves to Him! It is only in Him that we will know true life! Friends, are you going to the right bank?
Jesus, please increase our trust in You and grant us a faith unshakable as we daily crave more of You in Your Word, through prayer and fellowship with other believers. This world can be hard You know that full well with lots of unkindness and distractions. Help us not to stumble on account of how You choose to grow us up and closer in relationship with You. In You we are truly free no matter what our situation may appear to be, please give us Your perspective as You remind us we bare Your image, the image of the King of kings and Lord of lords, we are Your treasure, help us to crave You as ours more and more each day until we pay no attention, and cannot be swayed by the things of this world.
Independent Read: John 17:16, Matthew 6:21, John 16:33, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Hebrews 10:23