Self-righteous and closed minded religious leaders approach Jesus falsely, hoping to trap him into saying something that will get him into trouble with either secular leaders or the religious. Before asking Jesus two different questions they say something pretty insulting: We know that you are sincere, and show deference to no one; for you do not regard people with partiality, but teach the way of God in accordance with truth. On face value that doesn't sound so bad, but boy-oh-boy are they jabbing at him: they are pissed off that he is not showing deference to them, and I read in the last phrase that they do not believe Jesus is being truthful. Jesus responds with equanimity to not only these jabs but also to their two questions: one about paying Roman taxes and the other about death and remarriage.
Jesus replies to the first saying: Give to the emperor the things that are the emperor's, and to God the things that are God's. He replies to the second: Is this not the reason that you are wrong, that you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God?.....God said to Moses "I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob"? He is God not of the dead, but of the living; you are quite wrong.
These responses by Jesus give me such hope and confidence that the folks who are misleading so many in The Episcopal Church, and actually leading them away from TEC, would receive the same response from Jesus, for they do not know scripture or the power of God, and in fact are abusing it's interpretation for their own personal gains. I used to give these folks the benefit of the doubt, that they truly believed what they were saying. The last few months have proven to me that their moves are about raw power. These dishonest former bishops and former priests of TEC, and priests and bishops from other provinces in the Anglican Communion, are exactly like the Pharisees and Herodians and Sadducces who question Jesus today. They truly do not understand the scriptures nor the power of God. They are truly dishonest in their entire affect and demeanor and approach to scripture. They truly do not know what God's love is. This hope and confidence that these responses of Jesus gives me, does not lessen the sadness I feel for the people who are being purposefully misled, who are being fed hatred and spite. Although my hope and belief in the power of God is such that I do believe that many of those who have been fooled will return once they see these fraudulent individuals for who and what they truly are.
Copyright 2009, John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.