The Son of God and Taxes

Jesus made use of an ordinary incident of Jewish life to teach us something about Himself. Every Jewish man, at that time, twenty years of age and older was expected to pay a temple tax to help maintain the facilities. On one occasion, when Jesus and His disciples entered Capernaum, the people who collected the tax approached Peter (Matthew 17:24-27). They wanted to know if His teacher, Jesus, paid the tax. When they arrived at their destination, a house in that city, Jesus asked Peter a question about taxes. “From whom do the kings of the earth take customs or taxes, from their sons or from strangers?” Peter answered, “From strangers.” Jesus responded, “Then the sons are free” and not required to pay taxes. Jesus took this opportunity to claim that He was the Son of God! The temple was Jesus’ Father’s house, and so He was not required to pay the tax. But, so as not to offend those who expected Jesus to pay, He paid His and Peter’s tax. He paid it not from what little money the disciples may have possessed, but from the mouth of a fish. Jesus claimed to be the Son of God and then demonstrated it with this very unusual miracle.