27 Feb. Matthew 17:24-27

27 Feb. God supplies the money to pay Peter's tax bill

"When Jesus and his followers came to Capernaum, the men who collected the Temple tax came to Peter. They asked, 'Does your teacher pay the Temple tax?' Peter answered, 'Yes, Jesus pays the tax.'"

Peter went into the house, but before he could speak, Jesus said to him, 'What do you think? The kings of the earth collect different kinds of taxes. But who pays the taxes - the king's children or others?' Peter answered, 'Other people pay the taxes.'"

"Jesus said to Peter, 'Then the children of the king don't have to pay taxes. But we don't want to upset these tax collectors. So go to the lake and fish. After you catch the first fish, open it's mouth and you will find a coin. Take that coin and give it to the tax collectors for you and me.'"

          (Matthew 17:24-27)

 

 

Following his return to Capernaum, Jesus paid the two drachma temple tax to the ‘didrachmae’ – the collectors of the two-drachma temple tax.

Following an order by Julius Caesar, all Jews throughout the Roman Empire were required to pay the Jewish temple tax in order to fund the maintenance of the Temple in Jerusalem.

The amount decreed to maintain the Temple – originally instituted by the Jewish religious authorities to 'buy back their lives' (or to ‘pay’ for each person’s sins) - was half a shekel of silver (see Exodus 30:11-16). In Jesus’s day, this was equivalent to two silver Roman denarii or two silver Greek drachmas (about two day’s wages), and the collectors were called 'didrachmae'.

When Jesus was approached about paying his Temple tax, he told Peter to catch a fish on a line and to open its mouth. When Peter did so, he found a stater – a four-drachma coin (the equivalent of a silver shekel) - which was exactly enough to pay the Temple tax for both of them.

The fish was probably a freshwater Tilapia (or ‘St Peter’s Perch’) which has a marked pouch beneath its mouth where tiny young fish hide from danger.

Jesus made the point that he and Peter didn't strictly need to pay the Temple tax to the Roman authorities because they belonged to another kingdom - the kingdom of God - and as children of the king himself, they were not required to pay tax. But, in order not to 'upset' the tax collectors (and the Roman authorities), Jesus arranged for their tax to be paid by the king himself - and God provided just the right amount in the form of a silver coin from the mouth of a fish!

What an amazing compromise in order to keep the peace!

The photo (by Bjørn Christian Tørrissen) shows a Tilapia similar to the one caught by Peter.

You can read more @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/jesus-pays-the-temple-tax/


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