"Then the Pharisees went and plotted to entrap him in what he said. So they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, ‘Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and teach the way of God in accordance with truth, and show deference to no one; for you do not regard people with partiality. Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?’ But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, ‘Why are you putting me to the test, you hypocrites? Show me the coin used for the tax.’ And they brought him a denarius. Then he said to them, ‘Whose head is this, and whose title?’ They answered, ‘The emperor’s.’ Then he said to them, ‘Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’ When they heard this, they were amazed; and they left him and went away. "All too often when I read this story, my focus is on the skillful way Jesus thwarts the Pharisee's plan to entrap him, and I miss the really difficult part.
Give "to God the things that are God's."The past month or so I have been struggling as an older 2nd year piano student to play a version of that Rogers and Hammerstein favorite, "My Favorite Things." My playing does not exactly sound like a God given thing at the moment, and sometimes I feel so bad that I would like to wrap that song up in a brown paper package, tie it with string, and kick it straight to an eternal home.
I don't think that's the kind of thing that Jesus was talking about.
What are those things?
My, my, I do believe that I possess a lot of His things, and they are a few of my favorites.
I am reminded of an old joke, and after studying Jesus' tough message and seeing how difficult it is to follow, I wonder if maybe I could ask to look at that