Devotional Reading from the Daily Common Lectionary: Luke 20: 19-26
Text: So (the scribes) asked (Jesus), “Teacher, we know that you are right in what you say and teach, and you show deference to no one, but teach the way of God in accordance with truth” (v. 21)
My father used to tell me that if someone will lie for you, they will also lie against you. For the longest time I never understood what that meant, but he was giving me a lesson on character.
There is a related “truism” that wise clergy tell their younger colleagues. “The people who meet you at the train station are also the ones who will carry your bags to the station when you leave.” Be cautious of people who build you up, especially at the expense of others.
In today’s devotional reading Jesus understood these two nuggets of wisdom very well. He saw through the question put to him. It was like a mousetrap baited with the finest cheese. Their intention was not honorable. Seeing them for who they really were, Jesus side-stepped the trap. “Show me a coin.”
People set all kinds of traps for us to fall into in order to discredit or compromise us. Sometimes they do this knowingly and sometimes they just can’t help themselves. Jesus understood this. He told His disciples to beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing because the tendency is as old as human history; as old as the serpent in the Garden, David and Bathsheba, Samson and Delilah.
Our challenge as followers of Jesus is not to reach for the “shiny object” but to keep our focus on the footsteps of the Master.
Lord God, give me a heart of wisdom. Do not let me focus on the temptations around me. Keep me faithful in following You. Amen.