12/13 Matthew 17:24-25

24 When they came to Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax went up to Peter and said, "Does your teacher not pay the tax?" 25 He said, "Yes."And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, "What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tax? From their sons or from others?"

The Laws of Moses provided for a tax to be received from every male older than 20 years of age whenever a census was taken (Exodus 38:26). It was called an atonement offering because a census was only taken when preparing for war. The whole purpose of the tax was later changed to be a support for the upkeep of the Temple. Those who collected the tax were wondering if Jesus would argue against the change in the purpose of tax.

Apparently Jesus and His disciples had no money. They were living by faith and trusting God to provide their needs. Jesus gives a perfect example here of doing something so as not to offend others, even when it is unnecessary and costs you to do so. God miraculously provided for Jesus' and Peter's tax. Peter was evidently the only disciple over 20 years of age.

Jesus helped Peter understand why his answer was hasty. A king's family is not taxed for the maintenance of the palace and government. The temple was Jesus' house! He called it "My house" in Matthew 21:13. That means that His household, which included the disciples, were the ones that should be receiving the tax money, not paying it. There are several great lessons here. We are to go out of our way not to offend those who are ignorant of the truth. Jesus saw the Temple as His house. It was the house of God. He considers His disciples a part of that household, sons and daughters of God.

Consider: If you are a disciple of Jesus, you have the status and benefits of being in the household of the King of kings.