There was an outrage in Jesus' day about paying taxes. Imagine that! A world that was disgusted that a charitable organization traveling around the countryside healing, feeding, and spiritually mentoring people would have some kind of exemption to the tax code. Crazy huh?
Well, the people were frustrated and continued looking for a chink in the armor of a man who walked with 12 lonely disciples. They asked Peter, "Doesn't your teacher pay the temple tax?"
"Yes, he does," he replied.
Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. "What do you
think, Simon?" he asked. "From whom do the kings of the earth collect
duty and taxes—from their own sons or from others?"
"From others," Peter answered.
"Then the sons are exempt," Jesus said to him. "But
so that we may not offend them, 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."
Isn't this a great picture?
Taxes being required from other people to fund the temple costs, while the sons of the kings and priests were getting off because they knew the tax code, had relationships with the tax collectors, and skirted the duty all together; caused much dissension with those who were just trying to live.
But, look at Jesus' answer.
He didn't say we need to throw a revolution.
He didn't call us all to the harbor to throw the coins in the lake.
He wasn't calling town hall meetings to rile people up.
He reminded Peter from where the money came in the first place.
Can you imagine?
Peter goes down to the lake, catches a fish, and then pulls out the full amount of his taxes.
It's almost as if Jesus says, "Ok, they want their money, give them their money. But don't forget who created the fish!" HA!!! I love it.
God is the creator of all things.
He alone owns the cattle on a thousand hills.
He MADE THE FISH!!!
So the next time you feel like you're being taxed unfair, remember….
You don't serve the kings of this world.
We believe in a kingdom that stretches from Alpha to Omega.
Pay your taxes.
But don't forget who made the fish.