“…take that and give it to them for Me and you.”
– Matthew 18:27
The religious leaders of Jesus’ day were asking Peter why Jesus did not pay the Temple Tax. They did not go to Jesus and ask Him but to one of His disciples. It is interesting how that happens so often even today. Those who do not know Christ never think to ask Him directly if He is real, they always come to a Christ-follower. Imagine what God would reveal to them if they genuinely wanted to know Him?
Rather than Jesus waiting for Peter to develop a response, the Lord asks Peter, “From whom do the kings of the earth take customs or taxes, from their sons or from strangers?” The answer is from strangers because the sons of kings and the teachers were exempt from paying these taxes. Jesus, the Son of The King, was exempt, but not in the leaders’ eyes because they did not recognize Him as Messiah.
Although Jesus was exempt from paying this fee, He did it anyway and performed a miracle in the process. Not only did He pay what they thought He owed, But He also paid enough for Peter as well. Jesus has done the same for us today!
The wages of sin is death, and the Bible tells us we have all sinned. Rather than each of us individually having to pay the price for our sins, Jesus took them upon Himself when He died on the cross. Peter did not have the money to pay the tax owed, and Jesus paid the price for Him. We will never have enough to pay the amount owed for our sins, only Jesus made the way. Although Jesus paid the price, like Peter, we have to receive the gift. Jesus has freely given His life on the cross for you, have you received the gift yet?
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
– Romans 6:23