Today’s Passages – Matthew 16 – 18; Proverbs 11
(Second Milers also read – Psalms 51 – 55; Memorize – Acts 1:8)
“Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.” – (Matthew 17:27)
There are so many great truths in these passages that it is hard to decide what to write about, but I have chosen to share a few thoughts from Matthew 17:24 – 27. In this story, Jesus is returning to Capernaum with His disciples, and the tax collectors asked Peter if the Lord paid taxes. Peter immediately told the men that the Lord did pay taxes, but later the Lord pulled Peter aside and had a talk with him about it. He asked Peter if the children of kings were required to pay taxes. Of course, in these Bible days, the King’s family was certainly exempted from paying any kind of tribute money. Jesus is not only the “King of Kings”, but He is also the Son of God, and should surely also not be asked to pay any taxes. After all, all of the silver and gold belong to Him anyway. However, Jesus agreed to pay the tax so as not to “offend” the tax collectors. There is a lesson to be learned here in that it is better to yield sometimes, especially when it comes to disputes regarding money. People get into a lot of trouble fighting over money. Jesus wasn’t going to fight about it.
My main thought this morning, though, is about the source for the tax money. Jesus told Peter to go fishing, and that he would find a coin in the first fish’s mouth. Jesus miraculously provided the money His own and Peter’s taxes through a fish. Fishing in the Bible is symbolic of soul winning. Jesus told the disciples, “…Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” – (Matthew 4:19). I believe Jesus is trying to teach us a great lesson here. If we want to be blessed of God financially, we must be about the Father’s business of fishing for men. The coins that we need are also in the fishes’ mouths; only the fish that we are after are the souls of men. Jesus wants to see people saved. He has given us the commission of winning souls and training soul winners. It is His business. He came “to seek and to save that which was lost”. He is still seeking lost souls through us, and He will gladly finance our efforts. I believe that God will financially prosper both the church and the individual Christian that is busy winning folks to Christ. Are you struggling financially? Why don’t you try going fishing.
Posted in Thoughts from Matthew by Phil Erickson with no comments yet.