When the Pharisees and Herodians came to test Jesus, have you ever wondered why Jesus had no coin of his own?
I realize the text doesn’t actually say that he had no coin, you might wonder why, if he had his own, he didn’t use it. The coin he asks for is a denarius, the daily wage of the working man. Here was a group of people who had money, arguing with a man who had none, about the propriety of paying taxes.
But then again, they weren’t really interested in paying taxes.
They remind me so much of some disciples today who major in minor things – things that have nothing to do really with what God has actually said – in order to cover up their inattention to major things that God really spoke about. When Christian people, for example, in an effort to stand for truth, turn mean and hateful, it will not matter what truth they are for, their proclaimed faithfulness is overshadowed by the hardness of their heart.
Mark really shines in these lessons. By looking at the people who opposed Jesus, and the people who followed Jesus, and being honest about them both, he gives us a compendium of behavior we can match with our own lives to see if we are truly disciples of the Lord.