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A Fish With A Coin

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Dean Butler

In Matthew 17:24-27, we encounter a seemingly simple yet profoundly rich narrative that unfolds in the town of Capernaum. Within these verses, Jesus presents his disciples with a lesson that transcends the immediate context, offering timeless truths and valuable insights for believers of all generations.

Matthew 17:24-27 "When they came to Capernaum, those who collected the two-drachma tax came to Peter and said, 'Does your teacher not pay the two-drachma tax?' He said, 'Yes.' And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, 'What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth collect customs or poll-tax, from their sons or from strangers?' When Peter said, 'From strangers,' Jesus said to him, 'Then the sons are exempt. However, so that we do not offend them, go to the sea and throw in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for you and Me.'"  These verses hold several significant lessons that will be to our advantage to learn.

The story showcases Jesus' ability to provide for his followers in unexpected and miraculous ways. Despite the seemingly impossible task of finding money in a fish's mouth, Jesus demonstrates his authority over creation and his ability to meet the needs of his disciples.

Jesus uses this incident to teach Peter about the concept of freedom and responsibility. While Jesus asserts that the "sons" (referring to himself and his disciples) are exempt from paying the temple tax as children of God, he also emphasizes the importance of not causing offense needlessly. This demonstrates a balance between asserting one's rights and responsibilities within society.

In the context of this story, the fish becomes a symbol of provision and obedience. It highlights the idea that God can use ordinary, everyday objects to accomplish his purposes and meet the needs of his people. Additionally, the image of a fish has significance in Christian symbolism, representing faith, abundance, and discipleship.

The story underscores the importance of trust and obedience in following Jesus. Peter's willingness to follow Jesus' instructions, even when they seem unusual or illogical, demonstrates his faith and obedience. It serves as a reminder for believers to trust in Jesus' guidance and obey his commands, even when they don't fully understand the reasoning behind them.

Finally, the passage highlights Jesus' authority over earthly matters, including financial concerns. By directing Peter to find the coin in the fish's mouth, Jesus demonstrates his sovereignty and control over all creation. It serves as a reminder of Jesus' divine identity and his ability to intervene in the affairs of everyday life.

These themes provide rich material for reflection and application in Christian teaching and personal spiritual growth. They invite believers to trust in God's provision, obey his commands, and recognize Jesus' authority in their lives.  Email Dean:

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