Money in Strange Places

June 26, 2018

Good Morning Fellow Travelers,

Read: Matthew 17:14-27

“Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.”  Matthew 17:17

Jesus constantly expressed concern about the lack of faith He saw in those He worked among.  Even His disciples were rebuked for their lack of faith, when they were unable to cast out an evil spirit from one possessed.  May the simple lesson that concludes this chapter inspire us to a simpler faith in the power of Christ and the reach of His authority.

Our lack of faith always hinders Christ’s work through us.  It is surely an evidence of His merciful heart that He continues to do so in spite of our weak faith.  We minimize His power by our doubt.

Peter seemed to be aware that Jesus would want to pay the temple tax of one half shekel as required (Exodus 38:26).  This must have happened before.  When Jesus asked Peter the thought-provoking question about who should pay this tribute, Peter answered correctly, even though the answer he gave would have relieved him and Christ of paying, as both he and Christ were children of God.

Christ, not wanting to offend, ordered Peter to go cast his hook into the sea and find the required shekel needed for both of them, in a fish’s mouth.  We can be convinced that Peter did exactly as Jesus said.  We know that Peter went, cast in his hook, and found the money in the mouth of the fish, and paid the tribute for himself and Jesus.

Take heart, dear friend and brother.  Let’s not be branded a faithless or perverse person.  Evil spirits do not depart, and money is not produced in a fish’s mouth, without prayer and fasting.  Peter had to go believing that the Christ of all the resources in the world would know where He kept His store.  Believe it.  Christ will keep His word for you.  Make sure that what you ask for is His will.

 – James Baer