24 And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? 25 He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? 26 Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. 27 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 17:24-27)
These verses are often misused by some to avoid paying taxes.
Under Christ’s the kingdom of heaven dispensation, Christ said they were not obliged to pay tribute (taxes), but they would as follows …
“They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.” (Matthew 22:21)
Under Paul’s kingdom of God dispensation, there is no hint of not paying your taxes … as it is mandatory.
“For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.” (Romans 13:6)
A lesson to come out of this miracle was for Christ to show his disciples that their real citizenship belonged in another country … that of heaven.
The reasoning was as follows …
No country will, or indeed can, tax a citizen of another country … for example the government of Australia can only tax Australians and not the citizens of South Africa or Norway.
Christ is saying that because he and the disciples were citizens of heaven, they could not be taxed by the Roman authorities … but from a free will, they would comply.
This episode parallels Paul’s 13th chapter of Romans as follows …
“Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For … this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.” (Romans 13:5-7)
So Dear Reader, whether under Christ’s kingdom of heaven dispensation … now finished of course … or Paul’s kingdom of God dispensation, all must pay their taxes.
It appears the miracle of finding the money in the fish’s mouth was almost secondary … a mere trifle for Christ.
It was simply used for the lesson of above … the absolute importance of obeying the government and paying tax … and of course signifying, that Christ, the Creator, had all power over his creation.
“JESUS CHRIST - A MAN APPROVED OF GOD”
Miracle #29- “MAN BORN BLIND FROM BIRTH”
the long game, clay, outward appearances, a riddle
Australian Bible Ministries, PO Box 5058 Mt. Gravatt East 4122 Qld, Australia