However, we don’t want to offend them, so go down to the lake and throw in a line. Open the mouth of the first fish you catch, and you will find a large silver coin. Take it and pay the tax for both of us. Matthew 17:27
For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:3
And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. Now all glory to God our Father forever and ever! Amen. Philippians 4:19-20 (NLT)
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble. Therefore we will be not afraid .... Be still, and know that I am God! Psalm 46:1-2A, 10A
When Peter went back into the house where Jesus was, he did not do so just to be where Jesus was and hang out with him. He went back wanting Jesus to provide a solution to his problem. Before providing a solution, Jesus helped Peter to see that they were free not to be subject to the Temple tax because they were a part of a higher order, the kingdom of God. In the next part of the story given to us in the Matthew passage above, Jesus says, in essence, that even though they are free not to, they will choose to be subject to the requirement of the Temple tax in order not to offend them. It is at this point that Jesus provides the solution. Peter has already said, "Yes" to the collectors of the Temple tax and Jesus tells him how they will pay it: "Go down to the lake and throw in a line. Open the mouth of the first fish you catch, and you will find a large silver coin."
Neither Peter nor anyone else could possibly have guessed correctly and come up with the instructions Jesus gave to Peter. Perhaps he wanted Peter and us to understand beyond a shadow of doubt that this was totally a God-thing. Of all the ways that the need of the moment could have been met, the need was met through the use of a fish. Sometimes God's solutions come to us through other people, but still each solution must be seen as a God-thing. It is interesting that Peter had a role in the solution Jesus gave, but still it was totally a God-thing. It is a matter of having a right perspective and heart that is totally dependent on God. When we have a right perspective and a heart that is totally dependent on God, we will let go of the limits we have on what we think God can do for us. We will leave how he will provide totally in his hands. And we will remember that just being where Jesus is and hanging out with him is the most important thing. The solutions to our problems are always secondary.
Lord, thank you that you care about the troubles I face and how they effect me. Thank you that you are a very present help in times of trouble. Help me to be still before you and experience you as a refuge and source of strength. I believe that being in your presence is the key to my not being afraid and insecure, because it is in your presence that I am safe, protected, and secure. This is who I really am in Christ. Lord, I release my troubles into your care and I leave the solutions entirely up to you. Thank you for helping me to choose the better part.
Posted on Fri, May 29, 2015
by Alan Porter