Taxes and Gifts

When they had come to Capernaum, those who collected the didrachma coins came to Peter, and said, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the didrachma?” He said, “Yes.”

When he came into the house, Jesus anticipated him, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth receive toll or tribute? From their children, or from strangers?”

Peter said to him, “From strangers.”

Jesus said to him, “Therefore the children are exempt. But, lest we cause them to stumble, go to the sea, cast a hook, and take up the first fish that comes up. When you have opened its mouth, you will find a stater coin. Take that, and give it to them for me and you.” Matthew 17:24-27 (WEB)

Do you need money for your taxes? Now this is a miracle story! Go fishing and the money appears in the fish!

The apostle, James, tells us in his letter that when we want something – we want it. We even kill and and fight for what we want. We don’t have it because we do not ask…God. (James 4:2). The primary point here is: Ask – talk to God – pray. Lay it all out. Get it off my chest – off my shoulders.

God may respond by putting the money in a fish. He may respond with an unexpected bonus or raise. God may just send a gift from someone. He may allow me to learn a lesson about managing my money including anticipating what I need re: taxes, or asking for advice about taxes.

God desires to give me gifts. He also desires my obedience so I need to be faithful in my job, my marriage, as a parent, and as a member of the Body of Christ. That includes keeping my eyes on my relationship and ‘call’ from the Lord. It means avoiding the sin of jealousy and envy over the blessings someone else may receive from God.

A healthy relationship is a two-way relationship. It involves giving and receiving from both parties. It is respect and love from both parties. God is good at that.

“Ask, and it will be given you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and it will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives. He who seeks finds. To him who knocks it will be opened. Or who is there among you, who, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, who will give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! Therefore whatever you desire for men to do to you, you shall also do to them; for this is the law and the prophets.”     Matthew 7:7-12 (WEB)

The key to this passage is not seeing God as my personal vending machine. It is coming alongside of Jesus’ gifts for me, learning His good plans for my life to be a servant just as He is.

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