Yesterday we were talking about God’s employees. They come in all shapes and sizes, and all species for that matter. Yesterday’s blog was about how God used the ravens to feed Elijah. The point was that God has everything at His disposal to accomplish His will, and to remind us that He is in charge. But sometimes it is just down right humorous…and I think that God uses that to reinforce the fact that there is NO WAY that the Bible was written by men without being inspired by the Holy Spirit.
The lessons continue with Jesus. One is just downright hilarious…but it makes perfect sense when you break it down. So Jesus and the gang is coming in to Capernaum and there is a tax that they have to pay….two Drachma, which is equivalent to two days’ wage. So here is the passage…
Matthew 17:24-27 – 24When they came to Capernaum, those who collected the two-drachma tax came to Peter and said, “Does your teacher not pay the two-drachma tax?” 25He 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?” 26When Peter said, “From strangers,” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are exempt. 27“However, so that we do not offend them, 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 shekel. Take that and give it to them for you and Me.” (NASB)
Jesus’s style is amazing. He could have said, somebody cough up some cash so that we can move on…but no, with God, it is always a test. Not a test to make you feel stupid, but a test to teach you. Now this scene is important because it is recorded right after the transfiguration, where Peter and John see Jesus transformed into a heavenly image and talking with Moses and Elijah….which let’s face it…doesn’t happen every day. So Jesus asks Peter if He “should” have to pay the tax. And the answer is no…because Jesus is the son of THE King, BUT…so they don’t offend people, and give them ammo to “talk about” Jesus and His followers.
But please be a human, and think about how ludicrous Jesus’s request is….Peter, go fishing, and the first fish that you catch will have a coin worth two days wage in it. BUT…Peter is a fisherman…that is his profession. HE KNOWS that he has NEVER seen a fish with a coin in its mouth. And I can only imagine what he was muttering as he walked to go fishing…and more than that…I can only imagine what he felt like when it was just like Jesus said it would be!
By the way, do you think that Peter kept fishing? Or was so amazed that he ran back to Jesus and said, Master…it was just like you said it would be? At which point Jesus probably said, “what did you expect?” “Did you think that I just told you to do that because I was going to post a video of you on “YouTube?”” I commanded the fish to keep the coin in its mouth and to be at the proper place at the proper time. Because the fish are friends of mine, and I told them to do it.
So be encouraged…when God sends you….and you go? You WILL succeed! Because God has preordained everything that you need to be ready for you at just the right time. How do we know? Because He commanded it…and if you don’t think so? Read the story again! By the way, how did the fish get the coin in it’s mouth….but I digress.
Grace and Peace, Dan