I am reading through the Gospels. I want to really learn what Jesus did and will do and what I can do, only greater (John 14:12).
Matthew 17:24-27 is interesting. Apparently when they got into Capernaum, the tax collectors asked Peter if Jesus had paid his temple tax. Or they asked him if Jesus paid the half shekel, kind of checking how much Jesus paid. Now I really want to dig in and learn about the background, the culture. I always do that, and then this gets too long! So I won't here and now. At a later date!
Peter came home and he and Jesus talked about it. Jesus told Peter that he should go to the sea and throw in a hook. He was to take the first fish that came up, and when he would open it's mouth, there would be a shekel in it. Peter was to take that shekel and go pay the temple tax for both Jesus and Peter.
So the thoughts that went around in my head? It could have happened a couple of ways.
One way? As Peter is finding his way to the sea, I see him climbing over rocks to get to the beach area, mumbling. "Catch a fish? To pay the taxes?" This is where I'd be!
But had Peter seen so many miracles, so many supernatural things, that he just said, "Yeah, okay. I'll get us a mocha on the way. Be right back!"
Or was he talking to himself on the way? "Crazy. This is crazy! How does a fish have a shekel in it? And how does Jesus know it's the first fish? Crazy!"
Or did he believe, but have to talk to himself all the way there. "I believe Jesus. He is the Truth!" Fighting the unbelief all of the way.
Does this ever come up again? I'm going to find out! There is nothing following this part that says, "Yup! Peter found the fish with the shekel in it's mouth and he went and paid the tax. And Jesus liked the mocha!"
And since it's tax time here in the United States, my brain goes....can that happen today? And how?
Some would explain that things like this just happen symbolically. But.... I don't think so. (I'm sticking my neck out here!) I don't think that I believe that.
Yes, there are wonderful applications of this, but I think we are keeping our Maker and Provider in that box again.
Let's knock down the walls of that box and let Jesus be who He is! Not what we think he is! Or what we are comfortable with.
Let's let Him come how He wants to. Let's let Him look like He is!
And if He wants me to go fishing to get my tax money, I'm down!
Oh,and if you can't find me? I'm at the store buying my hook!