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  • Lori Somerville

Not of This World


Matthew 17:24-27

The Temple Tax

24 After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma temple tax came to Peter and asked, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?”

25 “Yes, he does,” he replied.

When 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 children or from others?”

26 “From others,” Peter answered.

“Then the children are exempt,” Jesus said to him. 27 “But so that we may not cause offense, 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.”


The collectors of the temple tax were, of course, looking for a reason to find fault with Jesus and his followers.


I love the question that Jesus asked Peter "From whom do the Kings of the earth collect duty and taxes - from their own children or from others?" Peter replies "from others". The question asked gets right to the heart of the matter. Are we sons & daughters or are we strangers? Peter was correct in his answer that even earthly rulers would not charge or tax their own children but as parents would give freely to their children all that they have. This is, of course, the heart condition of our father in heaven - to withhold nothing good from his children.


Our "tax" has been paid. Jesus took care of that for all of us. As a result we get to live tax free. As sons and not as strangers.


You hear it said a lot that there are only two certainties in this life - death and taxes. If your existence is solely based on living as an inhabitant of this world, then sadly that may be your reality.


But Jesus overcame death and as a result restored our right relationship with our Father in Heaven. As a result, we become sons and daughters. Exempt from paying the price. And what does exempt mean? FREE.


Free to receive every good thing that God has for each one of us.


So what is it that is preventing us from living out our lives on earth as sons and daughters and not like strangers? If we as parents desire to freely give to our children all that we have - what is stopping us from receiving the freedom to truly live as sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father? What are you willing to do to receive the freedom already purchased for you?


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