Matthew 17:26-27 (KJV)
Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free.
Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.
See here a principle that I fear is too little understood and seldom practiced in our day. The principle is the priority to avoid offense. Freedom, liberty even, is to be sacrificed for this principle.
The question had to do with paying the Temple tax. This was a fee levied on all the Jews and intended for the care and maintenance of the Temple building. It was a necessary sum. It was essential for the future use of this facility. The question was, does Jesus and his disciples owe this tax? Peter’s immediate response was, “Yes.”
Jesus did not question Peter’s answer. He came to the same conclusion, but He did want Peter to think through his reasons. Often we do what we do out of:
- Peer pressure or
- Custom or
And do not consider the why. Why we give our tithe and faith promises to missions, for instance, is as important as that we give.
Jesus, the Son of God, was free from the tax. There was no spiritual obligation on his part to pay it. The implication from the passage is that Peter was free from it as well. Neither one had to pay it. But there was something more important than what they had or did not have to do,
- There were souls at stake
- There were messages to be preached
- There were churches to be planted
To avoid offending these men left them free to accomplish those things.
To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.
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Matthew 17:26-27 Consider The Why
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