They came to ask Jesus a wrong question. They wanted to entrap Him, to find reasons to hate Him (as if they weren’t hating Him already, as if they hadn’t already decided what they wanted to do with Him…). They began recognizing Jesus’ mission: to teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. One could expect that after such a positive beginning, they would ask a question about this “way of God”. One could expect that they would be truly interested in Jesus’ teaching about life, relationships, God, things that realy matter. But no. They asked about paying taxes. Taxes! Wrong question to a wrong person. Nevertheless, Jesus took advantage of this opportunity to teach them about God’s way even if they were not asking for it. He made them ask themselves one important question: to whom do you belong?
Two things are coming to my mind while reflecting on this Gospel. First, the questions I come to ask Jesus. I recognize that life is filled with various matters, some of them important, some of them not so. I have many questions. In spite of several dosens of years, I’m still learning to live. And I realize that sometimes I come to Jesus with wrong questions. Even not questions, many times I come with petitions or demands. He wants to teach me the way of God, the way of truth, the way to real life and happiness, and I keep asking Him if I can eat meat on Friday, or how often do I really need to go for a mass. When was the last time I asked Him about life? About my relationship with God? About how to follow Him better? I can hardly remember. But in some way, asking these kind of “ordinary” questions tells a lot about where do I really belong. They express my real worries, my occupations, the way my relationship with God works. I am more concerned with religion than with relation. I care more for forms, expressions than for the essence. I belong to Ceasar, not to God.
It is real tragedy when we lose sense of our original belongingness to God. We define our relationship with Him through rules and laws. It already happened in the Paradise. There was the first time when people doubted their friendship with God because they trespassed God’s commandment. They hid from Him, escaped from relationship, because rules became more important than relationship. God’s commandments are important but never more important than our personal relationship with Him. To keep them is not enough, as Jesus said to the rich young man. Even if we are always faithful to them, we still need to “go, sell everything, and follow Jesus”, ergo, to build personal relationship with Him. Only then we can truly say that we belong to God, not to Ceasar.