So what IS our relationship to the world? For me, that is a hard question. And I think part of the problem is that Jesus was giving us mixed messages.
Jesus turns over the tables in temple, driving out the money changers, wreaking havoc at the centre of Jewish life and faith. But he also healed the Roman soldier whose ear was chopped off while he was trying to arrest Jesus.
Jesus stood in obstinate silence in front of Pilate, suggesting unspoken hostility toward those pagan Roman oppressors, yet expressed amazement at the faith of the tyrannical Roman guard whose son Jesus had healed, a guard who was probably never going to renounce his Roman religion and become a Christian.
And when backed into a corner and asked point blank if it is lawful and good to pay taxes to that disgusting wretch, Caesar, whose god-like image was stamped upon every financial transaction, Jesus had the opportunity to lay it all out on the line where he stood in relationship to the powers of this world. Instead he gave a non-answer. “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and give to God what is God’s” H’uh? You’ve muddied the waters so thoroughly that nothing seems clear.
So, which is it, Jesus? Are we to embrace the world or reject the world? Are we to be salt and light for the world or are we to challenge its idolatry? How do we remain faithful in a faithless world? Jesus doesn’t seem to know what he wants from us.
All he says is...(the whole thing here)