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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

On Your Mark by Dr. George O. Wood


The Attack Dogs

Later they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Jesus to catch him in his words. They came to him and said, “Teacher, we know you are a man of integrity. You aren’t swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not? Should we pay or shouldn’t we?” (Mark 12:13-15a, NIV)

We live in a time of “gotcha” attacks. Anyone in political or spiritual leadership faces this all the time. People with an agenda are out to get you, to smear the totality of your life by trapping you over one item they think will do you in.

That’s what’s happening to Jesus here. First, the chief priests and others who were part of the temple ruling establishment — dominated by the Sadducees — attempted to trap Jesus on the question of authority. Failing at that, they sent the Pharisees and Herodians next with a question over which they themselves were divided.

But their purpose was not to learn or to get the question settled. Their intention was to trap. What a shame! They had so much to learn from Jesus. He could tell them about the Father, about creation, about heaven, about eternity, about God’s great love. He could unfold for them so much they did not know, could not know, and would not know.

They were only interested in stumping Him, tricking Him so they could bring an accusation against Him.

When you are determined to destroy someone, you bring in unlikely allies. The Pharisees, unlike the Sadducees, believed in the resurrection, angels and a life of separation from worldly culture. The Herodians, as their name indicates, were allied to the political interests of Herod. Earlier the Herodians and Pharisees had plotted to kill Jesus early on in His ministry (Mark 3:6).

It’s amazing even today how many people of different perspectives all come together around one thing: opposition to Jesus. Many can “swallow” Him as a teacher, but not as Lord, not as King, not as Savior.

In this passage we see the blatant hypocrisy of the opponents of Jesus. They don’t believe at all in the three compliments they give Him. They only want to lure Him into a false sense of security by flattery. But what they say about Jesus is true.

First, Jesus is a person of integrity. That word comes from mathematics — integer — and is used to describe a whole number, an undivided number. Jesus is not one thing today and another thing on a different day. There’s no difference between what He is in private and in public. His person and persona are the same. Truly no moral fault or fault of any kind can be found in Him.

Second, Jesus is not swayed by public opinion. He doesn’t take a poll in order to frame His position. He’s not political or trying to score points. He treats the high and low, the rich and poor, the minority and majority exactly alike. He’s no respecter of persons, yet He does respect each person.

Third, He teaches the way of God in truth. If you want truth, then listen to Jesus. He said of himself, “I am the truth!” He has the truth because He is the Truth!

A prayer of response
Lord Jesus, I embrace You today as the One whom I trust. Help me follow in Your steps by being a person of integrity, not a respecter of persons, and living truthfully as Your follower.

GEORGE O. WOOD is general superintendent of the Assemblies of God.

On Your Mark

Previous Years

2013 On Your Mark

2012 On Your Mark

2011 On Your Mark

2010 On Your Mark

2009 On Your Mark

2008 On Your Mark

Podcasts of On Your Mark are available in video and audio.
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