St. John's Lutheran
Jesus Gave "Sonship" to You!
Matthew 17:24-26 New International Version (NIV)
The Temple Tax
24 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?” 25 “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?” 26 “From others,” Peter answered. “Then the children are exempt,” Jesus said to him. Mon. July 27 - Matthew 17:24-26 The Jewish temple was the center of the Jewish religion. There were places of worship, called synagogues, wherever a community of Jews lived, however, you could not offer sacrifices there. Also, the main Jewish festivals, like Passover, could only be celebrated in Jerusalem and in the temple. In order to maintain that temple and pay the priests a “temple tax” was collected every year. Jesus uses the tax in a more general way to point out that when a king taxes his people he does not tax his own family. They are exempt. Right before this short exchange with Peter Jesus had been transfigured on top of a mountain and God had said, “This is my beloved son.” (Matt. 17:5). So, Jesus, the son of God is exempt from paying the tax on God’s house, the temple. The amazing thing is that Jesus has extended his “sonship” to us! (See Matt. 12:49-50). That has nothing to do with our actions or “works,” but everything to do with Jesus and what he has done for us.