““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?” “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?”
“From others,” Peter answered. “Then the children are free ,” Jesus said to him. “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.””
When I was growing up, nothing tested my patience more than hearing from my brothers that I was wrong (can I get an amen parents?! Ha!).
In fact, often times when I would get in to a fight with either one of them, I would passionately defend myself as having done nothing wrong, and it was always my brothers fault.
I always heard this from Dad or Mom, “Well John, you were right, but you were also wrong.” Which at the time, was not an acceptable answer. How can I be wrong when it was one of my brothers who started a fight?!
In our text, Matthew was written to an audience who was currently being taxed by the Roman Emperor after A.D 70. The tax would maintain the Temple of the god Jupiter. Whats more, the defeat of Jerusalem signaled what Rome called “The superiority of Jupiter over the Jewish God.”
Jewish Christians had to be floored when they read this story as it circulated throughout the Empire. Their temple was destroyed by Rome, yet they still have to pay? Apparently so.
Yet the miracle of the story is, God provides the way to pay! Not in a way that bows to the will of Rome, but in a way that shows who knows the final score.
The winning margin is prophesied in Matthew 24:30 when Jesus says “All the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see ‘the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven’ with power and great glory.”-Matthew 24:30. Are you upset by your circumstances? Do you feel like the victim?
The Bible says to don’t speak and stand fast: “Do not let your good be spoken of as evil”-Romans 14:16. Not so you can be a doormat and walked all over, but so you can depend on God who raises the dead.
Despite our hurt feelings, God is always in control. The final result is already recorded in Matthews Gospel, and Jesus wins in a massive blowout.