December 3, 2015

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A coin in a fish

After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma temple tax came to Peter and asked, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?” “Yes, he does,” he replied. When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. “What do you think, Simon?” he asked. “From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes—from their own children or from others?” “From others,” Peter answered. “Then the children are exempt,” Jesus said to him.  “But so that we may not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.”   -Matthew 17:24-27

Do you ever read something and stop in your tracks? And then, you go back and reread it because surely you read that wrong. The other day I was reading in the gospel of Matthew and I did that very thing. Jesus asked Peter a question and then he asked him to go fishing. I learned a lot about Jesus in this story.

First, Jesus knows our needs before we even ask. The tax collectors questioned Peter about paying the temple tax. Afterward, Peter headed back to the house where Jesus was. Before Peter could even share about this conversation, Jesus knew the need. He asked Peter a question to get him thinking for himself.

Second, Jesus uses what is familiar to us to answer our prayers. Jesus didn’t want to offend the tax collectors of the day, so He provided tax money for both Peter and himself. How did He provide it? By asking Peter to go fishing. I bet Peter probably wondered why fishing? I think Jesus wanted Peter to do something he was very familiar with so Peter wouldn’t be distracted by the details. Jesus wanted Peter to look for the answer and focus on how He provided.

And finally, Jesus always provides. He always comes through. In this case, Jesus used a fish. And not just any fish, but the first fish Peter caught. That in itself is a miracle. You don’t see a fish with a coin in its mouth very often, do you? I love how Jesus uses anything to show us how much he cares about us.

Jesus cares about you also. He knows your needs before you even ask. Jesus will answer your prayers in many different ways. Some prayers He may answer using something very familiar to you. And remember, God always provides. He will come through for you. And who knows, maybe Jesus will use a fish to teach you a lesson too.

fish

 

Heavenly Father, I love that You know our needs before we even ask. Thank You for using what is familiar to me to answer my prayers. Thank You for also for always providing. Please help me to be more aware of the ways You are at work. You are a good, good Father. I love You, Lord. In Jesus name, Amen.

 

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