Gospel: Mk 12:13-17
They sent to Jesus some Pharisees with members of Herod’s party, with the purpose of trapping him by his own words. They came and said to Jesus, “Master, we know that you are truthful; you are not influenced by anyone, and your answers do not vary according to who is listening to you, but you truly teach God’s way. Tell us, is it against the law to pay taxes to Caesar? Should we pay them or not?”
But Jesus saw through their trick and answered, “Why are you testing me? Bring me a silver coin and let me see it.” They brought him one and Jesus asked, “Whose image is this, and whose name?” They answered, “Caesar’s.” Then Jesus said, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God, what is God’s.”
And they were greatly astonished.
An enemy that knows how to flatter is deadly dangerous. You do not know when they will spring their trap while honey drips from their lips. You are lulled to complacency. You let your guards down. Jesus had His share of encounter with those whose lips lie at the same time that their hands ready to strike. He is not caught off guard. He does not need human affirmation. Doing His Father’s work was enough for Him. That is why He was not duped by the sweet words of the Pharisees and some of Herod’s party. He met their trap head on.
All of us are called to such astuteness in front of the enemy. We are called to love but not to lose our good sense. Jesus seeing through their tricks showed them a great lesson that day. Obeying human laws that upholds order in society is not inimical to one’s relationship with God. Caesar is worthy to receive what is his. Just see to it that what is God’s is for God alone.