Thursday, December 1, 2011

Lest We Offend Them


Matthew 17:22-27

The Lord Jesus again taught the disciples that He would be killed and that he would rise again the third day.

But they just could not take it all in and were bewildered and exceedingly sorrowful.

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The Lord Jesus and the disciples had been absent from Capernaum for some time.

On their return, Peter had a tax demand.

The collectors of the temple tax asked Peter if the Lord Jesus paid the temple tax.

This was the ransom price of a half-shekel paid by every Jew of 20 years and above for the maintenance of the sanctuary.

Peter answered, “Yes.”

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Peter was amazed to find the Lord Jesus opened a conversation on this subject as soon as he returned to the house.

Through His question to Peter, the Lord Jesus showed that just as king’s sons are exempt from paying taxes, so He was also exempt from paying the double-drachma (half-shekel) temple tax.

He is the Lord who is greater than the temple, which is His Father’s house.

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The Lord Jesus told Peter that the tax should be paid, “Lest we offend them”.

Peter was told to cast a line and hook into the sea.

The first fish to be taken would have in its mouth a piece of money.

It was a coin sufficient to pay exactly the temple tax for two.

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This miracle and His knowledge of the incident in which Peter was questioned about the temple tax, again demonstrates that the Lord Jesus is the almighty Son of God.

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The Lord Jesus was careful not to give offence by asserting His rights over a trivial matter.

The message of the gospel offends many but we must be careful not to give offence by our attitude to those who are not believers.

Let us seek to be sensitive to others.

Let us also be encouraged that the Lord knows all of our needs and is able to meet them.

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