Matthew – Fulfilled.
Yesterday was the dreaded day for those of us who didn’t quite hold out enough to pay the dreaded tax to the local, state and national government. Why is it a dread? We knew it was coming. All who make a living give back so we can drive on passable roads, cross safe bridges, help those in real need, and many other benefits of iving in the United States. Is our mandated share being used wisely? Not all the time, but we have the freedom to vote for those who will use it to effieciently. It seems it has a lot to do with our attitude about our money. Mm.
These thoughts come as I read our next appropriate and relevant passage in Matthew. Jesus teaches Peter and the rest of the helpers the meaning of taxes and the attitude of living life to the full. Jesus always focuses our attention back to the bottom line…trusting Him. Paying taxes is purely a human thing.
Matthew 17, The Message
24 When they arrived at Capernaum, the tax men came to Peter and asked, “Does your teacher pay taxes?”
25 Peter said, “Of course.”
But as soon as they were in the house, Jesus confronted him. “Simon, what do you think? When a king levies taxes, who pays—his children or his subjects?”
26-27 He answered, “His subjects.”
Jesus said, “Then the children get off free, right? But so we don’t upset them needlessly, go down to the lake, cast a hook, and pull in the first fish that bites. Open its mouth and you’ll find a coin. Take it and give it to the tax men. It will be enough for both of us.”
Take a closer look…
–I’m not sure Peter really knew that Jesus did or did not pay taxes when approaced by the scary tax men of his day. So Jesus cleared things up for him. This became another “teachable moment”.
–In God’s Kingdom, as His children, heirs with Jesus Christ we are free! We give back, not as a tax, but as a way to help others find and follow Jesus!
–We live in a land that requires paying taxes. We respect the authorities voted by us to govern us and we pay. What is that to God? It is being obedient to the human government and trusting in God to provide what is needed to satisfy the tax share and our daily manna for living. Ultimate we trust God to provide all our needs.
–He sent a fisherman to get the tax! Jesus loves to use the talents we have to join Him in His work. What another grand, teachable moment! This life, with taxes and other human tasks, is temporary. With God we have freedom now and life forever with Him.
–Pay the tax then forget about it. There is more important things to think about…like following Jesus who provides peace and joy in our hearts.
Dear Heavenly Father, You teach us so many things in such a few words. Give us wisdom, insight and understanding as we live life here in preparation for life with you forever. May we move always to the rhythm of your grace. May we think higher thoughts than groaning over paying human taxes. In Jesus Name, Amen