A recent commercial asks, “what’s in your wallet?” I think it’s an ad for some kind of credit card. A passage in Romans opens with, “Owe no man anything, but to love one another.” In Jesus’ day there were two economies, and two currencies. There was the Temple coin, and the Roman coinage. When asked about taxes, Jesus asked, “Well, whose picture is on the coin? Caesar’s? Then give it to him!” The Roman, worldly, coin, was only for worldly purposes. The Temple coin was only for the work of God, and a Roman coin must not be even carried into the Temple.
“Owe no man anything,” can be taken as, “Do not be entangled in the economy of this world.” To speak of the coinage of this world is to talk about self-assurance. We can say that the coin is cast in presumption, and the stamping is about selfish desires on the “head” side and abuse on the “tail.”In order to love one another we have to be free from that economy, or our love will be presumptuous, selfish, and abusive.
In Matthew 24,, the steward was given charge of dealing in his Master’s coins of holy love, but he presumed that the Master was long-delayed and began to deal in the coins of presumption. He began to please himself with parties and to abuse his fellow servants until his Master appeared and he who thought he was rich in the coin of this world found himself destroyed by the debt he had created, and he was punished from then on with the hypocrites. Terms like, “cut apart,” and “weeping and gnashing of teeth” make it really hard to spin this passage to read, “He was still saved, he only lost some of his joy.” A more careful study shows that the greatest hazard in this world is presumption, because presumption tells us we can do OK without Jesus, but that we’re somehow better than to need Him. Presumption is the coin of this world: “It’s all about ME!”
“..But to love one another,” The coin of the Kingdom is holy love! While the coin of this world is tied to abusing others, our Lord’s currency is for selfless love. While the coin of this world promotes a selfish, grasping, lust, the Kingdom’s coin is about giving our very selves away to God. That is the coin that the Church deals in. The more we give away, the richer we become! What’s in your pocket?