Devotional Thoughts: Jesus pays taxes and how we only hear the bad news

Taking a look at Matthew 17:22-27.

Verse 22-23 has Jesus reiterating: The Son of Man is going to be betrayed. He will be killed, but three days later he will be raised from the dead.

The disciples were "filled with grief".

It would seem they only heard Jesus say: The Son of Man is going to be betrayed. He will be killed ...

It is easy for me to sit in my chair and say, if I was there, hey, what do you mean raised from the dead? You mean you are going to beat death? Wow, tell me more!

But let's face it, when we hear "good news/bad news" how often we really only hear the bad news?

The Bible here is pretty honest about the human condition!

The next episode, verses 24-27, is an odd one. I don't think I have EVER heard a sermon on this passage!

Someone asks Peter, does Jesus pay the Temple tax which is about two-days wages?

Peter says, yes. I do wonder though how sure was Peter in his answer.

When Jesus sees him, they discuss this. He asks Peter, when kings tax people, who do they tax, their own family or others?

Peter says other people.

Jesus reply seems to be in agreement with Peter. It seems like he is saying we really don't have to pay this tax afterall Jesus is Lord and above the Temple! Yet, he tells Peter to go catch a fish and find the coin in the fish to pay the taxes.

Pretty odd little story, eh?

I suppose the lesson I draw from this is that in this earthly life there are some obligations we have (like paying taxes) and we may have some good reason to complain about them but we fulfill those obligations nonetheless. Jesus seemed to teach this idea again in the famous incident in Matthew 22:15-22 where Jesus says whose face is on the coin? And then said, render to Caesar what is Caeser's and onto God what is God's.

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