Wednesday, March 17: Doesn't your teacher pay the temple tax?

Read Matthew 17:24-27


The last days of Jesus' earthly life are filled with significant events and teachings. During these weeks leading up to Easter, we'll travel with Jesus toward Jerusalem and his crucifixion, marveling at his determination to finally fulfill his destiny as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

Read Matthew 17:24-27

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?"

"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?"

"From others," Peter answered.

"Then the children are exempt," Jesus said to him. "But so that we may not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours."



Each Jewish man was asked to contribute to the maintenance and operation of the temple in Jerusalem. Jesus uses this as a teachable moment to reinforce the truth that he is the Son of God, that this is God's temple, and thus that he would not be taxed. But Jesus wants to show his support for Judaism and the temple. What a reminder that all the earth's resources are available to Jesus any time—and in any way—he wishes.


Today, St. Peter's fish, with a mouth large enough to hold a four-drachma coin, is served in Galilean restaurants. For many this is a present-day reminder that stories like this one, though miraculous, are historically true and factual. This isn't the first time we've seen that Jesus controls even the fish in the sea. Take a moment to ponder who Jesus is.



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