Children of Favor
“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?’” (Matthew 17.25 NKJV).
The Jewish leaders of Jesus’ time were constantly trying to trap Jesus in doing misdeeds. Since Jesus is the Son of God and not moved by human expectations (for He is moved by God’s expectations), they condemned Jesus on many accounts according to their manmade rules and traditions. One rule was the temple tax. The Jewish leaders went up to Peter and asked if Jesus had paid the temple tax. Peter lied and said that He had. Peter had a weakness of caring what the religious people thought. Jesus foresaw Peter’s motives and used the illustration of a king not requiring taxes from his children, only strangers. God’s children are exempt from the worrying about expectations of others because we are coheirs with Christ and Children of God. However, since Jesus wants the Good News to spread, and He knows that people are easily offended, which will cause them to miss the Gospel. Jesus told Peter to pay the temple tax via a miracle of God: money showing up in a fish’s mouth. As God’s Children, we are free from worrying about the expectations of others, but in order to prevent people from getting offended by our freedom, God sometimes will supernaturally provide the means to fulfill those expectations for us. We don’t have to lose sleep over human rules or traditions. God will provide a way; we just need to listen to His direction and obey His plan.
“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 17.27 NKJV).
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