Tax in the Mouth of a Fish
BIBLE REFERENCE : Matthew 17:24-27

Peter is aked whether Jesus pays the temple tax;
and the tax is miraculouly found in the fish
that Peter catches on a hook and line!

Sermons on this go wildly astray.
"This was a tax giving thanks for release from Egypt"
No it wasn't, it was a tax to pay the tribute due to Rome
and to defray the expenses of the Temple.

"A son is not taxed by his father,
so Jesus need not pay a tax initiated by God".
The question was not whether he should pay, but
whether he would or would not pay.

Peter seems to believe that Jesus should pay up.
Being a Jewish male under the Law, he should.
But is he under the Law, or now beyond it?
Is it time to make a stand?

Jesus decides to pay up rather than face up.
It is not yet time for confrontation, so
they put in a day's fishing
to get the money needed.

A simple story spiritualised, by the author.
A message to await the right time for rebellion.
Do not get diverted into conflict with underlings
over largely irrelevant issues.

The Kingdom of God is at hand.
Focus on justice and equality, rather than resisting legalism.
Focus on what you share with others, rather than on difference.
Love your neighbours, instead of correcting them.

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