Wednesday 30 August 2023

Matthew 17:24-27

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.”

The two-drachma tax was collected from every male over the age of twenty and was used for the upkeep of the temple. This tax was established by Moses (Exodus 30:13) and remarkably, about fifteen-hundred years later, was still paid annually. It had now converted from shekels to drachma which equated to about two days’ wages and now Jesus, the Son of God, confronts a tax that he should be exempt of.

However, instead of asserting His divine authority, we see Jesus as the peacemaker showing humility, honouring tradition, and not offending without reason. When our hearts are fixed on eternity, we can respect and obey the laws of the land as long as they don’t oppose God’s commandments. In doing so, we demonstrate love and foster peace. Even in insignificant matters. Our lives now pale in comparison to eternity with our Heavenly Father. I am encouraged by Jesus’ example to act with humility and respect.

Interestingly, one of the names attributed to God is Jehovah-Jireh which means ‘God Will Provide.’ Here we see this provision when Peter is instructed to catch a fish with a four-drachma coin in its mouth, displaying God’s boundless ability to provide in unexpected ways. 

Dear Heavenly Father, we thank You that You are not only Saviour but also Provider. As we face challenges in this world, help us to fix our hearts on eternity and act with humility, obedience, and respect. We trust in Your loving provision and place our faith in You. 

In Your precious name Jesus, Amen

Written by Sven Bessesen

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