By Colleen Donahue

In A.D. 70 the Jewish temple had been destroyed. This costly structure had been supported during the years of its existence by Jewish males over 20 years of age that paid an annual tax of one half shekel. Now, the Roman emperor decreed that the tax must still be paid except now it would go to the temple in Rome. The men that received the tribute money came up to Peter and asked him whether Jesus would pay this tax. They asked this to see whether they could find some ground of accusation against him.

In this short study Jesus sets an example for the people of his own time and for us today.


Christianity and Good Citizenship

Studies continued from Matthew 17: 24-27

Day 1- Even though Rome was an occupying government, what was ultimately true?
Romans 13:1

Day 2- However unpleasant our duties as a citizen might be, what is our responsibility?
Titus 3:1

Day 3- What is the reason behind our submitting to the authorities?
1 Peter 2:13-14

Day 4- In other words, Jesus paid the tax not because of the compulsion of the law but because of a higher duty to His Father. As a son, Jesus was exempt but He paid the tax anyway --why?
Matthew 17: 25b-27a
We must not only do our duty but we must go beyond just duty.

Day 5- In very colorful language Jesus then shares how to pay our debts.
Matthew 17: 27b
Peter's trade was as a fisherman . In essence the Lord was telling Peter that in a day's worth of fishing he would get what was needed to pay his way. And so it will be for us.


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