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?” “From others,” Peter answered. “Then the children are exempt,” Jesus said to him. “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.”
When Jesus arrived in Capernaum with His disciples, the taxman was there to meet them. The collector asked Peter if Jesus paid the “two-drachma tax,” an annual temple tax required of all males twenty years and older. Peter assured the man that Jesus paid the tax.
When Peter came into the house, Jesus asked him if kings of the earth collected taxes from their own children. The answer, of course, was “no,” and the implication was that Jesus, the Son of God, should be exempt from the temple tax. But Jesus decided not to make the tax an issue. He told Peter to go fishing. From the first fish caught, Peter found four drachmas to pay the tax for Jesus and himself.
Jesus never compromised. Neither did He make an issue of every situation. The Son of God did not have to pay the temple tax. But He did pay it in order to keep the avenue for His message clear. As believers it is important that we pick the right battles—those that matter for eternity. We learn that from Jesus.
Father, help me choose the right battles to fight. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This Week on The Journey Broadcast: