Join us today for an episode about the reason God's things are people not things...
Today's episode is focused on Exodus 33: 12-23 and Matthew 22: 15-22...
In today’s Spiritual Foundation Episode, I talk about Exodus 33:12-23 and Matthew 22: 15-22. I share how we need to recognize that we are called into relationship with people not things. I also share how we need to recognize that everyone belongs to God.
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Episode 1367: The Things that are Godâ€™s
[00:00:00] Scott Maderer: Thanks for joining me on episode 1, 367 of the Inspired Stewardship Podcast.
[00:00:07] Raven Harris: I'm Raymond M. Harris. I challenge you to invest in yourself, invest in others. Develop your influence and impact the world by using your time, your talent, and your treasures to live out your calling. Having the ability to lead yourself and others is key.
[00:00:25] And one way to be inspired to do that is to listen to this. The Inspired Stewardship Podcast with my friend, Scott Maderer.
[00:00:41] Scott Maderer: ones who are challenged, the ones who are setting a trap, the ones who aren't. Jesus is saying this. belongs to God. All of us belong to God. And maybe if we could treat one another as though we belong to God and they belong to God, [00:01:00] then maybe we could come closer to living out the promise of the kingdom.
[00:01:05] Welcome and thank you for joining us on the Inspired Stewardship Podcast. If you truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time, your talent, and your treasures for your true calling. In the Inspired Stewardship Podcast, you will learn to invest in yourself, invest in others, And develop your influence so that you can impact the world.
[00:01:36] In today's spiritual foundation episode, I talk about Exodus chapter 33 verses 12 through 23, and Matthew chapter 22 verses 1522. I share how we need to recognize that we are called into relationship with people, not things. And I also share how we need to recognize that everyone belongs to God. [00:02:00] Exodus chapter 33, 12 through 23 says, Moses said to the Lord, See, you have said to me, bring up this people, but you have not let me know whom you will send with me.
[00:02:10] Yet you have said, I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight. Now if I have found favor in your sight, show me your ways, so that I may know you and find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people. He said, My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest. And he said to him, If your presence will not go, do not carry us up from here.
[00:02:33] For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, and I, and your people, unless you go with us? In this way we shall be distinct, I and your people, from every people on the face of the earth. The Lord said to Moses, I will do the very thing that you have asked, for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.
[00:02:52] Moses said, Show me your glory, I pray. And he said, I will make all of my goodness pass before you, and will [00:03:00] proclaim before you the name, the Lord, and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. But he said, You cannot see my face, for no one shall see me and live.
[00:03:14] And the Lord continued, See, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock, and while my glory passes by, I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed. Then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back, but my face shall not be seen.
[00:03:34] Matthew chapter 22 verses 15 through 22 says Then the Pharisees went and plotted to entrap him in what he had 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.
[00:03:55] Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the [00:04:00] 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 Daenerys. Then he said to them, Whose head is this, and whose title? And they answered, The Emperor's.
[00:04:16] 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. And when they heard this, they were amazed, and they left, and they went away. This beginning of this story in Exodus is one of those little odd stories that, at least for me, I'm not 100 percent clear all the time what's really trying to be said here, what's going on here.
[00:04:41] There's this crazy conversation, and towards the end, God says to Moses, I will make all of my goodness pass before you. And what does that even mean? Even when you go back and look at the original. Hebrew, it's a little unclear what's going on here, but if you back up a [00:05:00] little bit to verse 11, you get a little context.
[00:05:04] It implies that God and Moses are spending a lot of time in conversation like friends. They enjoy each other's company, but they argue as much as they agree. Like a lot of friends do. It was friendly, but also contentious. They complain to each other, they dream together, they debated the meaning of life.
[00:05:24] Again, the things that friends do. And this time, Moses seems to be complaining a little bit, saying he's got the short end of the stick again. You gave me this job, but you didn't say how I'm supposed to do it, or who's gonna help me, or even for sure what it is I'm supposed to do now. I don't have a roadmap.
[00:05:42] I don't have an itinerary. I don't know what's coming next. I've got this vague sense of a call. And maybe that you like me for some reason, and beyond that besides, this isn't my mess to fix anyway, God. You got us here. [00:06:00] And God seems to say, I'm here. Take it easy. Calm down. And Moses reply is one that I don't know about you, but I've given to God before.
[00:06:11] Of course you're here. You're always here. You better be here because following this call was your idea anyway, but I need more than that. And then God says because I like you, because I told you my name, okay, I'll give you more. And Moses asked for God to show him his glory. I know when I was younger, I would think that this was God maybe Moses asking for some sort of light show or for thunder and lightning for some sort of miraculous appearance.
[00:06:48] But maybe we think about how we give God glory or how we acknowledge God's glory. Yes, we do it through praise and worship and song, [00:07:00] but we also do it just by how we live. We glorify God often through our life, through what we do, through the relationships we have, through how we share the message.
[00:07:16] Moses wanted something tangible, it seems. He wanted to see God walking around, living the way that Moses was supposed to live. In a way, it seems like Moses... Maderer was asking for the presence of Jesus. He wanted God to put on flesh and come hang out, be there, come and guide him, walk with him, sustain him, hold him up for the task that he's feeling way too inadequate to do, to lead these people that don't want to be led and don't even seem to like him.
[00:07:51] He wanted to see how it was supposed to be. He seemed to be wanting Jesus.[00:08:00] That moment of wanting Jesus, giving us a glimpse of how we're supposed to walk, giving us a hint of how we're supposed to live, showing us how to do the tasks that you've put to me, even when I know it's way beyond my ability to do.
[00:08:16] And let's face it, folks, that's almost anything. Being a parent, being a pastor, teaching, leading, heck, loving our neighbors, loving our enemies, loving our family sometimes. None of it seems to be within my capabilities and God says, I know I'll make all of my goodness pass before you my, my goodness, just what you need, just what will equip you, just what will fill you on your own.
[00:08:43] The tasks before you are beyond you, but filled with my goodness. Then the impossible becomes possible. Filled with my goodness, Moses, you can lead these people. Filled with my goodness, you can be a parent. Filled with my goodness, you can love your [00:09:00] neighbor. Filled with my goodness, you can love even your enemy.
[00:09:05] Even somebody that you think is doing wrong, you can still love them. It's a blessing. God is blessing Moses by saying you can see and be filled with my goodness. It's a gift. It's the spirit working within us. And it is something that is a struggle as well.
[00:09:30] And then the passage from Matthew seems to have a strange little turn. There's a conversation about taxes. But it's maybe not really a conversation about taxes. It seems to be Jesus is being set up for a trap. It's not really about economic policy. It's not about are you giving enough, or should you fill out your taxes, or is lying on your [00:10:00] taxes like lying anywhere else, or are taxes right or wrong, any of those debates that we sometimes get into.
[00:10:06] But instead, Jesus is doing the Jesus thing. and he sees the trap and turns it into advice. Maybe, but Jesus really doesn't seem to be in the advice business. He's in the transformation business. He's about radically rethinking our life. He's about dying to sin and self and rising again to live a life without horizons.
[00:10:36] He's not saying that paying taxes isn't important, but when you look at living a life like Jesus wants us to live, it pales in comparison to that. So Matthew presents this argument that there is a plan to trip up Jesus. There's a one of those no win scenarios where they're gonna ask him a foolproof question that's gonna trip him [00:11:00] up and they send their disciples to go get Jesus.
[00:11:03] They send in the rookies or the disciples the second string. Maybe they weren't convinced it was foolproof. Maybe they'd been burned by Jesus in the past, but regardless, they send these other folks to go do it. And they give Jesus this unsolvable riddle. The truth is, in this moment, Jesus responds to the testing by saying, Let's put you to the test.
[00:11:35] I'll answer your question. Show me the coin. Notice he's distancing himself from that. He's not pulling a coin out of his pocket. He's asking them to show us a coin. Maybe he doesn't even carry a coin. Not because he's naive and doesn't understand that money's needed, but because he's chosen to distance himself from this argument.[00:12:00]
[00:12:00] He's chosen to live in a different way. And maybe he's showing them this different way. And he says, give to God, the things that are God's. Think about the next logical question to ask after that. What are God's things? And if you're a Pharisee and you are a follower of the law and you go through all of the laws, there's hundreds and hundreds of laws and stipulations and rules talking about what is sacred, what is not, what is.
[00:12:30] functional and fit for the use in the service of God, what is of the earth, and therefore not sacred, and therefore you can't use it in God's service. But Jesus is maybe presenting a little different look. He's saying, wait a minute, everything is sacred. Everything can be used in the service of God.
[00:12:49] Everything. Starting with us, the people of God. Starting with those of us that say we're following God, we can live a different way. [00:13:00] Sure, money's important. Things are important. Stuff is important. Taxes are important. But Jesus seems to be more interested in people than in things. Maybe these things that he's referring to are the people that he sees around him.
[00:13:17] The disciples, the ones following him, the ones not yet following him. The ones who are challenged, the ones who are setting a trap, the ones who aren't. . Jesus is saying, this belongs to God. All of us belong to God. And maybe if we could treat one another as though we belong to God and they belong to God, then maybe we could come closer to living out the promise of the kingdom of God.
[00:13:49] Thanks for listening.
[00:13:55] Thanks so much for listening to the Inspired Stewardship podcast. [00:14:00] As a subscriber and listener, we challenge you to not just sit back and passively listen, but act on what you've heard and find a way to live your calling. If you enjoyed this episode, do me a favor, go over to Facebook. com slash inspired.
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In today's episode, I talk with you about:
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." – Matthew 22: 15-22