Matthew 17:27 says, “Nevertheless, lest we offend them, go to the sea, cast in a hook, and take the fish that comes up first. And when you have opened its mouth, you will find a piece of money; take that and give it to them for Me and you.”
Just like so many of the stories in the Bible, I am so amazed at how God provides. In this story, the tax collectors came to Peter and asked about whether Jesus paid His taxes or not. Jesus, already knowing what had taken place, asks Peter what he thought about the situation.
Jesus asks, “From whom do the kings of the earth take customs or taxes, from their sons or from strangers?” Peter said to Him, “From strangers.” Jesus replies, “Then the sons are free.”
Those that are disciples of the King are free. Jesus was saying that He and His followers did not have to pay tax to an earthly king when they were children of the heavenly King. But Jesus was willing to pay the tax as a symbol of denying self and teaching us to do the same. Then, Peter was directed to go fishing, and the exact amount needed for the tax was in the mouth of the fish.
We are thankful that God knows the needs of Adult and Teen Challenge of the Upper Cumberland and has already supplied it. As we celebrate 10 years of ministry and counting, we are grateful that you, our partners, give not out of a HAVE to, or an obligation, but out of a WANT to, as children of God. Your partnership is helping others become part of the family of God. The Apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 9:7, “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” You have given cheerfully. Because of your generosity, not only was the goal of $80,000 reached at the annual banquet in March; but we continue to grow and provide more opportunities to those in need through both residential and non-residential programs.
Jesus did not have to pay, but He did. Peter was told to do what he knew how to do best, which was fish. We know that the Lord is the reason we do what we do and have what we have, but He tells us to go and do what we know to do, fish. And you, our partners, give so that those we are catching will be blessed and have their lives radically transformed by the love and power of God. Thank you for allowing Jesus to work through you to “give a piece of your money” to help those in need find hope.
Pastor Tim McLauchlin