What Jesus Did! 'Taxes?' — Matthew 17:24-27

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Jesus and his followers went to Capernaum. In Capernaum some men came to Peter. They were the men that collected the two-drachma tax. They asked, "Does your teacher pay the two-drachma tax?" Peter answered, "Yes, Jesus pays the tax." Peter went into the house where Jesus was. Before Peter could speak, Jesus said to him, "The kings on the earth get different kinds of taxes from people. But who are the people that pay the taxes? Are these people the king's children? Or is it other people that pay the taxes? What do you think?" Peter answered, "The other people pay the taxes." Jesus said, "Then the children of the king don't have to pay taxes. But we don't want to make these tax collectors angry. So {pay the tax in this way}: Go to the lake and fish. After you catch the first fish, open the fish's mouth. Inside its mouth you will find a four-drachma coin. Take that coin and give it to the tax collectors. That will pay the tax for you and me."
— Matthew 17:24-27
Illustration of Matthew 17:24-27 — "Does your teacher pay the two-drachma tax?"

Key Thought

What a weird story and even more strange is why it would be placed here in the flow of the narrative. But it is here as a reminder to us that we do live in an earthly world with earthly obligations and earthly influences. While our values and our Messiah's glory may not be displayed in a way that the world understands, our responsibility to be good citizens and to participate in society is essential. We can't influence people to come to Christ if they don't respect our desire to be people of integrity as we reflect the character of our Savior in the world in which others live.

Today's Prayer

Loving Father, please protect my influence from the harm that comes from slanderers and evil critics who want to do away with my Christian influence. Please forgive me for my past transgressions, cleanse me and make me holy, and empower me to follow Jesus with bold courage and faithful integrity. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Jesus and the followers went back to the people. A man came to Jesus and bowed before him. The man said, "Lord, be kind to my son. He has epilepsy and is suffering very much. My son often falls into the fire or into the water. I brought my son to your followers, but they could not heal him." Jesus answered, "You people have no faith. Your lives are all wrong. How long must I stay with you? How long must I continue to be patient with you? Bring the boy here." Jesus gave a strong command to the demon inside the boy. Then the demon came out of the boy, and the boy was healed. Then the followers came to Jesus alone. They said, "We tried to force the demon out of the boy, but we could not. Why were we not able to make the demon go out?" Jesus answered, "You were not able to make the demon go out, because your faith is too small. I tell you the truth. If your faith is as big as a mustard seed, then you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there.' And it will move. All things will be possible for you." Later, the followers met together in Galilee. Jesus said to the followers, "The Son of Man will be given into the control of men. Those men will kill the Son of Man. But on the third day the Son of Man will be raised from death." The followers were very sad {to hear that Jesus would be killed}. Jesus and his followers went to Capernaum. In Capernaum some men came to Peter. They were the men that collected the two-drachma tax. They asked, "Does your teacher pay the two-drachma tax?" Peter answered, "Yes, Jesus pays the tax." Peter went into the house where Jesus was. Before Peter could speak, Jesus said to him, "The kings on the earth get different kinds of taxes from people. But who are the people that pay the taxes? Are these people the king's children? Or is it other people that pay the taxes? What do you think?" Peter answered, "The other people pay the taxes." Jesus said, "Then the children of the king don't have to pay taxes. But we don't want to make these taxcollectors angry. So {pay the tax in this way}: Go to the lake and fish. After you catch the first fish, open the fish's mouth. Inside its mouth you will find a four-drachma coin. Take that coin and give it to the tax collectors. That will pay the tax for you and me."

Matthew 17:14-27

Related Scripture Readings

Jesus knew what the Pharisees were doing. So Jesus left that place. Many people followed Jesus, and he healed all the sick people. But Jesus warned the people not to tell other people who he was. Jesus did these things to make happen what Isaiah the prophet said. Isaiah said, "Here is my servant; I (God) have chosen him. I love him, and I am pleased with him; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will judge the nations fairly. He will not argue or shout; People will not hear his voice in the streets. He will not break the reed that is already bent; He will not stop the light that has almost stopped burning. He will continue until he makes fair judgment win the victory. All people will hope in him." Then some people brought a man to Jesus. This man was blind and could not talk, because he had a demon inside him. Jesus healed the man, and the man could talk and see.

Matthew 12:15-22

But in the church meetings I would rather speak five words that I understand than thousands of words in a {different} language. I would rather speak with my understanding, so that I can teach other people. Brothers and sisters, don't think like children. In evil things be like babies. But in your thinking you should be like full-grown people. Like the Scriptures say, "Using people that speak different kinds of languages and using the lips of foreigners, I will speak to these people; but even then these people will not obey me." That is what the Lord says.

1 Corinthians 14:19-21

Give all people what you owe them. If you owe them any kind of tax, then pay it. Show respect to the people you should respect. And show honor to the people you should honor.

Romans 13:7

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.