“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” (Mt. 17:25).
April 15. Tax day.
Today also marks Good Friday, the day Jesus was crucified 2022 years ago. He was heavily taxed for sins He didn’t earn. He paid unfathomable penalty on the Cross.
In the book of Matthew, Capernaum tax collectors question Peter if Jesus paid temple taxes (Mt. 17:24). Temple taxes defrayed worship costs and since Jesus taught at the temple, collectors wanted their dues. They were awed by His works, but directed their taxing question to Peter.
Peter assured them that His Teacher paid. He led by faith and works followed, which included world laws. Jesus relied on alms and miracles for provision and since He wasn’t paid to teach, He needed a miracle to cover His temple tax.
In Matthew 17:26, Jesus told Peter to go to the lake, catch the first fish, and draw a coin from its mouth. Jesus responded to God’s lead and in turn, Peter obeyed Jesus’s unusual request. I appreciate how He promised Peter he’d find money from the first fish. Peter didn’t have to check every mouth on his fishing line.
Peter was called to be a fisher of men, so it seems logical that Peter witnessed a miracle casted from a bank of obedience. God could have remitted tax credit via an angel, but to honor Jesus’s humbleness, He sent Jesus and Peter to remote waters to withdraw a fish.
Teacher and student unified a trust-based lesson when provision required immediate compliance. God taught that Jesus had dominion over all creation above and below sea level.
On a side note, in a school of fins, was the fish that carried the coin considered the Teacher’s pet? Like Jesus, the fish put money where his mouth was and carried a timeless message.
Taxed with trust and action for eternity,