Old Testament Lesson
We see a couple of interesting things in this passage. First we remember the truth that God is a holy God, not one to be trifled with. We see that He tires of the people's complaining. Now, we are to voice our hurts and pains to God (Psalm 137), but our prayer life should not be a continuous gripe session to God. While we all have problems, God's grace is also sufficient. While life is not perfect, His grace is, and it it can speak and comfort our aching hearts. If we focus only on our problems, we will have much to complain over. But, if we focus on God's grace, we will see that He is merciful and loving to us each.
We see the focus on the people today when they say that they only have manna to eat and they are tired of it. They were given food from the very outstretched hand of God, and they found problems with it. To know that they were complaining that God was taking care of them, but not as they like is terrible. But, don't' we do the same? Don't we want it our instead of God's? He will take care of us, He will do not what we want, but what we need. Today, are thankful that God is taking care of you, or are you complaining that He is not doing ti the way you would?
New Testament Lesson
We see in this passage that all the sinful problems the people have come when they exchange truth for a lie, when they exchange the glory of God for the glory of man. And, man's glory is not all that much. They know the truth, and they do not follow, and then it leads them to their destruction.
It is very sad to have never heard about Jesus and His Gospel. It is even sadder to have heard, and not to follow. Today, you know the truth. I know the truth. Let's not worry about all the mysterious that we don't understand. You know that God wants you to live a holy and obedient life; worship and glorifying Him, and that is the only way to enter into His kingdom. Today, do you follow what He has commanded. We know truth. Do we follow? Or do we exchange truth for a lie. If we do not follow, we are making the path of our own destruction.
So to not offend them, that is why Jesus paid the temple tax in this passage. Sometimes in life, there things that want to do, that' we'd like to do; but we know will start trouble. The question then becomes, do we want our way above all else, or are we willing to bite out tongue and not offend to preserve peace.
Now, of course this is not in regards to salvation issues, this not in regard to moral and absolute truth. This is about simple things, things that we do not to stand for truth, but things that we do or say just to make people mad. Jesus was unfair to confront evil and offend others over things that mattered. But, He knew the difference. Do you and I know the difference between things that really matter? Or do we do things sometimes just tomake others mad? Jesus, on this nonessential matter, did not feel the need to offend. Do you and I do the same?