A loving Father


                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.)


                All Jewish men were raised to believe that their lives belonged to God.  In turn, every male over the age of twenty was required to pay an annual duty; the fee would redeem them from God; for one year they belonged to themselves.  The season had arrived for the religious leaders to collect the yearly fees.  Simon (Peter) thought it proper to pay the tax, but Jesus questioned it.  He asked Peter to ponder the manner in which the surrounding nations levied taxes.  During this time, the Roman Empire had conquered the majority of the known world.  The nations they conquered were taxed heavily, while their own citizens (or sons) were free from nearly all forms of taxation.  If the Godless and evil leaders of the earth refused to tax their own people, why would a gracious God impose such duties upon his own subjects?  Peter immediately understood that the temple tax was man-made and not God-made.  Jesus however, agreed to pay the tax so that he would not offend those who did not understand this truth.  Miraculously, God provided the funds for Jesus and Peter.  The Lord revealed to Peter, that He was, and is, far more interested in giving to His children, than He is in taking from them.

                When I was in College, my dad would frequently visit me.  He really enjoyed talking with me over a nice meal.  In turn, we would meet at various restaurants in the area.  My Dad was well aware of my financial situation; I was a ‘broke college student’ who couldn’t afford to eat out.  He was never under the mistaken impression that (when the meal concluded) I would head up to the register to take care of the bill.  On the contrary, my Dad, who had great resources, was always aware that he would need to ‘pay-the-check.’  I am older now; I have graduated from college, but I still travel home for the holidays; and my dad still enjoys taking me out to eat; and yes he still enjoys paying for the meal (despite my abilities and sometimes fervent requests to pay.)  My dad has always given to me; he has always been a provider, because I am his Son, and he loves me.

                If you call Jesus your Lord, you also call God your ‘Father.’  If you are a Son or a Daughter of God, He desperately desires to give you good things.  The world is always asking for something from you, and those who are corrupted continually seek to take and to never give in return.  God however is in need of nothing; He gives liberally and lovingly to all those who ask Him.  Seek the Lord; make your requests known to Him, and He will provide for your needs; because He is not just the Almighty God, but He is also, a Loving Father.

                “Lord Heavenly Father, we honor You and we praise Your name.  You are an awesome and mighty God, full of mercy and truth.  We also believe that You are a loving Father, and that we are Your children.  We know that You desire to give us good things; may You continue to provide for all of our needs, that we may better serve You, and worthily magnify Your Holy Name.  We love You Father, 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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