Sundays with Simon Peter–Paying Those Stinkin’ taxes




When one system approaches the individual saying, “Bow down!” the automatic response should be to resist.  It is normal for us to not submit to bonds because we are made by God to walk free, think free and talk free.

The story for today made me scratch my head at first.  I was not sure what to do with it.   

Matthew 16:24 After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma temple tax came to Peter and asked, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?”

25 “Yes, he does,” he replied.

When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. “What do you think, Simon?” he asked. “From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes—from their own children or from others?”

26 “From others,” Peter answered.

“Then the children are exempt,” Jesus said to him. 27 “But so that we may not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.”

 After thinking about this story fir a bit, it seems to reinforce that Jesus did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it.  By this point in Matthew, Jesus is fairly close to the cross and the resurrection.  Jesus said early in his ministry that if they destroy this temple (meaning His body) He would raise it again in three days.  Even though the men running the stone temple were corrupt, Jesus was not insecure about where the long-term was going to be with God’s kingdom. 

 And even though the temple tax was above and beyond what was laid out in scripture, Jesus made a point of showing a shadow of redemption to come.  “Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.” Jesus is the burden carrier for out sins and diseases.  Jesus, with the temple that was His body, and Peter his primary apostle were going to launch something that spreads a proclamation of God’s kingdom that is fundamentally peace in intent. 


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