The Tax Money in the Fish’s Mouth!!!
Now while they were staying in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him, and the third day He will be raised .” And they were exceedingly sorrowful.
When they had come to Capernaum, those who received the temple tax came to Peter and said, “Does your Teacher not pay the temple tax?” He said, “Yes.” And when he had come into the house, Jesus anticipated him, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take customs or taxes, from their sons or from strangers?” Peter said to Him, “From strangers.”
Jesus said to him, “Then the Sons are free 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 17:22-27
In our previous study we read of the incident that took place at the bottom of the Mount of Transfiguration when the Disciples could not cast out a Demon from a Boy because of their lack of Faith. Here we read of Jesus speaking about His death and How He paid for the temple tax miraculously.
Now while they were staying in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him, and the third day He will be raised .” And they were exceedingly sorrowful.: Jesus already told His Disciples this before(Matt 16:21).But there is a need for Him to repeat it because it is a hard saying to them. They just could not understand how someone as Holy,Loving, good, Upright and Powerful like Jesus could be betrayed and Delivered into the Hands of the Enemies. The Disciples have been so deeply rooted in the Old testament teachings that God will never allow the enemies to kill a Righteousness Man. So Jesus needed to repeat it to their hearing until it sinks deep into their Hearts. There are things the Lord has to repeat again and again to us so that it may sink into our hearts for We are so quick to forget good things. Do you know why the same stories were repeated in the Gospel of Matthew, Mark Luke and John? It is so that we may read it again and again until it sinks deep into our hearts. Preachers who seek for Honour from Men are always looking for new topics to speak on so that people may say, “Wow!!! Fresh Rhema!!!” But Godly Men like Paul will say,” To write the same things to You is not tedious, but for you, it is safe(Philippians 3:1). Also Peter says, “I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though You know and are established in the present truth(2 Peter 1:12). We are in the days where there is a Great need to always repeat our teachings on the New Covenant because 95% of Christian Churches are not operating Fully in the New Covenant. It is a Mixture of Old and new. They pick out some things in the Old Covenant and join it with the New, such as payment of Tithes, Giving First Fruits, Keeping the Sabbath,.. Etc. And that is why there is a lot of confusion because “New wine cannot be put in old wineskin!!! It would burst!! (Matt 9:17).And because Most Believers are deeply rooted in what their Churches practice instead of what the Bible teaches, they find it hard to accept it. So there is a Need to always repeat some of this truth praying that God will Grant them revelation on it. So Jesus repeated His Death and resurrection to His Disciples And they were exceedingly sorrowful. It is interesting to see that Peter did not say ““Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!(Matt 16:22)” Peter has learnt his lesson that the voice that tells us to avoid the Way of the Cross is the Voice of Satan. Any voice that says, “Broad is the gate and Entertaining is the Way that leads to Life” is the Voice of Satan. I hope we have also learnt the Lesson Like Peter.
When they had come to Capernaum, those who received the temple tax came to Peter and said, “Does your Teacher not pay the temple tax? ” He said, “Yes.”: The Tax collector were wondering whether Jesus who was establishing the new Covenant principles compared to the Laws of Moses was also not going to pay the tax for the temple. So when they asked Peter, Peter said, “Yes, Of course He is going to Pay it”. He did not consult the Lord before answering. Very often we are like that also. We give a quick answer before consulting the Lord to know His will. Let us therefore learn to wait upon God to hear what He will say to us.
And when he had come into the house, Jesus anticipated him, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take customs or taxes, from their sons or from strangers?” Peter said to Him, “From strangers.”
Jesus said to him, “Then the Sons are free 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 : Before Peter could say a word, Jesus knew already what people outside had come for and what Peter had replied through the supernatural Power of the Holy Spirit. In any nation, if a King collects taxes, He collects taxes from the People but not from His own Son. And this is a Temple tax being collected for the House of God and Jesus takes His Position as the Son of God and says, “If this taxes is really being collected for the Father, why should I the Son pay this tax? I am free, I don’t have to pay the tax for the house of my own Father!!!”
Nevertheless He said, “Even though I have that freedom as the Son of God, I will not exercise that freedom!!!”. This is another fundamental new Covenant principle. This is the Way of the Cross!!! That though I have freedom, I don’t exercise that Freedom. For the sake of others, I deny Myself. Jesus says, “Lest we give them offense, lest we cause them to stumble”. In other words, He was denying Himself for the sake of others. He was not exercising His Rights and privileges as the Son of God because He does not want to offend others. Let us remember this, that the Highest Christian Life is where we deny ourselves of our rights and privileges for the sake of others. To bring others to Blessing and to lead others into the Kingdom, to prevent others from Stumbling we deny ourselves our rights. Jesus says in John 17:19, “for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth”. Jesus gave up certain privileges and rights for the sake of others. A true Disciple of the Lord will follow their master in this way, if we find that some of our actions which we have liberty to do is going to cause Stumbling to others, we must give it up. Sisters should dress in such a way that they would not cause offense to men. They should always ask, “Will this my Dress cause a man to Lust after Me? If the answer is Yes, then a True Disciple of the Lord will give up wearing such dress. Paul says,” If food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble(1 Corinthians 8:13). Let us therefore follow In the footsteps of Paul as He follows the Example of Jesus in denying Himself of his legitimate rights to prevent others from Stumbling.
So how did Jesus paid the tax? He sent Peter to the sea to catch a fish and He will find money in its mouth!!! This is amazing. Jesus would never do a miracle to satisfy His own need. He never turned a stone to bread for Himself but He was willing to multiple the loaves for others. And here it is the question of Paying the tax, not only for Him but also for Peter. He needed to pay for Peter also since Peter has forsaken everything to follow Jesus. So He was going to Help Peter to pay His tax. This is a wonderful thing for us to Learn. Do you know that God wants to Help you to pay Your tax? When you avoid paying your taxes, you are going against the will of God. For God Himself has commanded, ” Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due,customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor(Romans 13:7). Jesus Himself said,” Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s(Matt 22:21). According to this verse, if You have not paid your taxes, don’t even think of giving Money for the things of God!!! Well, you may say, “The government are just embezzling the Tax money, so why should I pay the accurate amount?” That’s none of your business!!! God will not ask You how they spent the Tax money. Leave them to God!!! They are accountable to God, but as for You, Pay Your Tax. Am Sure Jesus knew that there was corruption in the way the tax money is being used, Yet He paid it and even Paid for Peter!!! So we don’t have to worry about where or how we are going to get Money to Pay our taxes. The Lord wants to Help us to Pay it just as He helped Peter. He does not want us to evade tax which is a criminal offense but He is willing to Help us pay it even supernaturally. He told Peter, “Go to the sea!!!” Peter was going to experience something He had never experienced in all the years that he had been fishing. He was Going to find money in the mouth of a Fish. Many at times, we have missed the Supernatural experiences we could have had because there was no willingness to pay our taxes!!!
The Father who met the financial needs of Jesus also met the financial needs of Peter. If Jesus could walk on water, Then Peter Could walk on water too. And if the Father was going to met the Financial need of Jesus supernaturally, then He was going met Peter’s financial needs supernaturally also. This should encourage us, that what God the Father did for Jesus in His Earthly life, He would do for us!!! As He cared for Jesus, He would care for You and Me IF We are His Disciples and have forsaken everything to follow Him Like Peter. God never let His Servants or Disciple down. Don’t be afraid!!! The Father will provide, if necessary, In a Supernatural way to met our need, even to pay our taxes.
Dear Friend, If we will walk as Jesus walked of not standing for our rights but willing to give them up because we don’t want to cause offense to others. If you find yourself in a situation you suffer for not wanting to cause offense to others, You can be sure that God will met You and supply the Resources, even in a Supernatural way. Let us therefore say boldly,”The Lord is my helper; I will not fear (Hebrews 13:6)”. May the Lord give us Grace to truth Him for everything even our tax money (Amen). God bless You. Have a blessed day.
#Everyday with Jesus.