Monday, 13 August 2012
13th August 2012 Matthew 17:22-end
When they came together in Galilee, he said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life.” And the disciples were filled with grief. 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?”. “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?”. “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.”
This is confusing. Jesus says they are exempt because they are children of God; but then he says they shouldn't cause offence and arranges a miracle to pay the tax. What is that all about?
Sometimes there are things we have to do that we don't have to; this appears to be one of those moments and clearly Jesus is telling us to suck it up and get on with it. I think.