Nevertheless, lest we offend them, go to the sea, cast in a hook, and take the fish that
comes up first. And when you have opened its mouth, you will find a piece of money; take that and give it to them for Me and you. Matthew 17:27 NKJV
Peter was asked by the temple tax collectors, “does your Teacher not pay the temple tax?” Everyone paid the same amount regardless of what they had. The money was used to pay the expenses of the temple.
They did not just ask out of curiosity. They were attempting to collect from Jesus. Priests and religious authorities were not required to pay it. Their salaries were paid from it. They asked Peter because they were uncomfortable confronting Jesus.
Jesus said the sons of God are not required to pay the tax but will pay it so they do not offend the religious authorities. Jesus told Peter to go fishing, open up the mouth of the first fish he caught and find enough money to pay the tax for both of them.
Jesus payed taxes for the upkeep of the temple used by the Jews to worship Him. The religious authorities were still worshiping in a temple made by human hands when the living temple was standing in front of them!
This event reveals the dual nature of Jesus. Jesus of Nazareth paid the temple tax just like any other Jewish person. Each paid the same amount regardless of status or income. Jesus demonstrated His authority over heaven and earth by sending His servant to retrieve money from the mouth of a fish!
God was standing in front of these temple tax collectors and they were still playing religion.
What about us? Are we playing religion or worshiping God?
If we have veered off into religiosity all we need to do is confess our sin and turn to Jesus. Jesus is waiting for us with His arms of love opened wide. Because Jesus lived the life of a man He understands our needs, fears and failures!
The Eternal Son of God knows the desires of our hearts. Jesus is able to meet our needs. He can use us to meet other people’s needs.
What do most people need today? They need Jesus! How will they meet Jesus? The Lord wants to use our transformed lives to reveal Himself to them!
Jesus wants you to be a fisher of men!
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