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

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

On [Jesus and the disciples'] arrival in Capernaum, the collectors of the Temple tax came to Peter and asked him, "Doesn't your teacher pay the Temple tax?"

"Yes, he does," Peter replied. Then he went into the house.

But before he had a chance to speak, Jesus asked him, "What do you think, Peter? Do kings tax their own people or the people they have conquered?"

"They tax the people they have conquered," Peter replied.

"Well, then," Jesus said, "the citizens are free! However, we don't want to offend them, so go down to the lake and throw in a line. Open the mouth of the first fish you catch, and you will find a large silver coin. Take it and pay the tax for both of us."

— Matthew 17:24-27 NLT

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 we all 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.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Matthew 12:15-21
  • 1 Corinthians 14:19-21
  • Romans 13:7


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Illustration of Matthew 17:24-27 NLT — "Doesn't your teacher pay the Temple tax?"

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.