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Temple Tax

Matt 17:24

Matt 17:24-27 (web)
When they had come to Capernaum, those who collected the didrachma coins came to Peter, and said, "Doesn’t your teacher pay the didrachma?"
He said, "Yes."

When he came into the house, Jesus anticipated him, saying,
"What do you think, Simon?
From whom do the kings of the earth receive toll or tribute?
From their children, or from strangers?"

Peter said to him, "From strangers."

Jesus said to him, "Therefore the children are exempt.
But, lest we cause them to stumble, go to the sea,
and cast a hook, and take up the first fish that comes up.
When you have opened its mouth, you will find a stater coin.
Take that, and give it to them for me and you."

{A didrachma is a Greek silver coin worth 2 drachmas, about as much as 2 Roman denarii, or about 2 days wages. It was commonly used to pay the half-shekel temple tax, because 2 drachmas were worth one half shekel of silver.}

{A stater is a silver coin equivalent to four Attic or two Alexandrian drachmas, or a Jewish shekel: just exactly enough to cover the half-shekel Temple Tax for two people.}

What does this reveal about Jesus?

Jesus was Lord of  the Temple.
Jesus knows what is being spoken even when not physically present. - Omnipresence
Jesus has an amazing control of circumstances - Omnipotence


Jesus should not have to pay the temple tax since he is Lord of the temple. However he submitting to human authority in this matter so as to not necessarily offend. So also Christians have God-given rights that may be best to defer at times for the sake of the ministry. Thus, for example, we see in 1Cor 9Paul saying that he has a right to get paid for his ministry, but has given up that right so as not to hinder the gospel. Peter catching fish represents the Christian minister bringing people to Christ. It is his legitimate right to receive pay from them. "Do not muzzle the ox as it treads out the grain." 1Tim 5:18

The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources
Aug 15,2020