This morning’s reading at prayer was from Luke 20, paying taxes to Caesar. I was arrested by the phrase ‘pretending to be honest.’ It is how the question-bearers are described, because their motivation is to catch Jesus out in a way that is reportable to the governor. A not-so-hidden agenda.
They are left gob-smacked – literally. Silenced by Jesus knowledge of where they were coming from, and ability to give an answer on every level. They were beached!
We can be silenced by a variety of things. Beaten into silence by someone who can’t stop talking, particularly if there is no content or no listening – no space to have a conversation. We can be silenced by beauty – where a word just can’t express what we see, and would be an unwelcome interruption. We can be silenced by fear, which unfortunately makes the fear stronger, and reinforces the silence.
I hope the spies smiled. Realised they had been beaten, but beaten by someone who loves them. And perhaps said ‘”It’s a fair cop, any good advice for unemployed spies?”
Whatever silences you, smile. The way out is discovering how you are loved. The same as yesterday’s message. That’s where honesty starts. And honesty empowers.
Honest to God.