July 8, 2018
Matthew 17:27… However, not to give offence to them, go to the sea and cast a hook, and take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for me and for yourself.
Some tax collectors had come to Peter and asked if Jesus would pay the tax. The above was His response. Jesus was God; all things were created by Him. Surely He was exempt from paying taxes. But He responded, “So as not to give offence to them…” Even though I am a Christian, a child of God, I am still subject to the taxes of men. How Jesus paid this tax was unique. He told peter to go and catch a fish; in the mouth of the fish, Peter would find the necessary money. Couldn’t Jesus have opened His hand and made the money appear? Probably… But He didn’t. He put Peter in charge and asked him to do something, he was familiar with… “Catch a fish.”
I see 2 things about this story that are important. Probably there are many more but I am drawing attention to only 2.
1. Peter was obedient even though it made no sense in the natural. God might ask you to do something that you think is stupid because of what you know. Have you ever caught a fish with money in its mouth? Unquestioned obedience is part of our relationship with Jesus.
2. This one is a little more obscure… not every thing happens as a miracle according to our thinking. Jesus could have miraculously produced the money, but He told Peter to use his skill as a fisherman. It was still a miracle but Peter was involved.
As I mentioned before, it did not need to happen this way. Sometimes, Jesus expects us to use our natural abilities when responding to situations. I tried to keep building when I became a pastor so that Karla and I would not be a burden to others and could pay our bills. It didn’t work and I, for physical reasons, quit construction. But, when we moved down to Arizona we bought this house with money we earned when we sold a house we built in Oregon. God is in charge.