God gives to His Children


                When they had come to Capernaum, those who received the temple tax came to Peter and said, “Does your teacher not pay the temple tax?”  He said, “Yes.”  And when he had come into the house, Jesus anticipated him, saying, “What do you think, Simon?  From whom do the kings of the earth take customs or taxes, from their sons or from strangers?”

                Peter said to him, “From strangers.”  Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are free.  Nevertheless, lest we offend them, go to the sea, cast in a hook, and take the fish that comes up first.  And when you have opened its mouth, you will find a piece of money; take that and give it to them for me and you” (Mathew 17: 24-27.)


                Every Jewish man recognized that their lives were not their own; rather they belonged to God.  As a part of this recognition, every man over the age of 20 was commanded to pay an annual duty to God to redeem their lives for themselves for one year.  The season had arrived for the religious leaders to collect the yearly tax.  Simon (Peter) thought it proper to pay the tax, but Jesus questioned its correctness.  He asked Peter to examine the way that the world levied taxes.  During this time, the Roman Empire had conquered most of the known world.  The nations they conquered were taxed heavily, while their own citizens (or sons) were free from most forms of taxation.  Peter was asked to examine why God would require a tax from his own people, when the worldly leaders of the earth, who were evil, did not tax their own subjects.  Peter realized the tax was man-made, and not God-made.  In order to keep the peace, Jesus agreed to pay the tax.  The miraculous way he paid the tax showed Peter that despite bowing to human authority, he commanded all of the power and authority of The Living God.  Under that authority, Peter was able to see that God’s desire was not to take from his Son’s, but to give to them.

                When I was in College, my dad would come to visit me frequently.  He really enjoyed sitting down and talking with me over a nice meal.  He and I would meet at various restaurants in the area.  My Dad was well aware that I was a ‘broke college student’ who could not afford to eat out.  He was never privy to the notion that when the meal concluded, I would head up to the register to take care of the bill.  Quite to the contrary; my Dad, who had great resources, was aware that he would need to ‘pay-the-check.’  Over the years, traveling home for the holidays, my dad and I still go out to eat, and he still pays for the meals (despite my abilities and sometimes fervent requests to pay or ‘pitch in.’)  My dad has always given to me because I am his Son, and he loves me.

                If you call Jesus Lord, you call God ‘Father.’  If you are a Son or a Daughter of God, be aware that He desires to give good things to you.  (The world is always asking for something from you; even when they give, their giving is selfishly motivated and extremely conditional.  God however is in need of nothing, and gives liberally and lovingly to all His children.)  Ask Him for whatever you need, and He will provide it for you; because He’s not just the Almighty God, but He is also, a Loving Father.

                “Lord Heavenly Father, we come before You now and lift You up.  You are an awesome and mighty God.  We know You are also a loving Father.  We love you too.  We know that You are seeking to give us good things; please provide for all of our needs today.  We love You, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, in Jesus Christ’s name, Amen.”  God bless all of you!

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