May 30

Text: Matthew 17:24-27

And when they had come to Capernaum, those who collected the two-drachma tax came to Peter, and said, "Does your teacher not pay the two-drachma tax?"  He *said, "Yes." And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, "What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth collect customs or poll-tax, from their sons or from strangers?"  And upon his saying, "From strangers," Jesus said to him, "Consequently the sons are exempt.  But, lest we give them offense, go to the sea, and throw in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a stater. Take that and give it to them for you and Me." (NASB)

I am an “old dude” who is uncomfortable with technology.  I grew up with the lecture method of teaching in high school and college.  I still research with books—to me, pages are more trustworthy than web sites.  Yes, cell phones should have huge buttons and be used only in emergencies.  (If you are not turned off, read on.  If you are turned off, tomorrow continue reading, please—I cannot help being old.) 

I was taught that there was one correct answer to any question—ANY QUESTION.  Searching for truth was limited to finding that one correct answer.  I also was taught that “we” had the correct answers.  (The problem: there are too many “we’s” that are sincerely certain they discovered the correct answers, and some of “our” answers are questionable.  That awareness threw me for a loop for a l-o-n-g time.)

The tax was likely the temple tax which—at this time—was voluntary.  Jesus’ question to Peter: “Who should pay?  Who should be exempt?”  Peter’s correct answer: “The king’s sons are exempt.”  Therefore, Jesus should not pay because of who he is.

Yet, Jesus paid!  Because he was obligated? No!  Because Peter’s answer was wrong?  No!  Because God would be disappointed if Jesus did not pay?  No!  He paid (by a miracle) because people who did not know who he was would be offended!  Wow!  What a motive!

Never forget God always knows our motives—even when people do not!  Always serve God’s purposes in your deeds. 

Suggestion for reflection: Make your concept of obedience God’s concept.  (Read 2 Chronicles 30:6-20.)

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