Why Did the Son of God Pay the Temple Tax?

Jesus pay tax

Matthew 17:24-27 tells the story of Jesus and his disciples being asked to pay the temple tax. The temple tax was a tax paid by Jewish men to support the temple and its services. The tax was one half-shekel, or about two days' wages for a laborer. In this passage, Jesus is asked by the temple collectors if he and his disciples should pay the tax.

Jesus responds by telling the collectors that the children of the kingdom are exempt from paying the tax. However, he also says that they should not offend the collectors by refusing to pay. He then tells Peter to go to the lake and catch a fish. When Peter does so, he finds a coin in the fish's mouth, which Jesus tells him to use to pay the temple tax for both himself and Peter.

This passage is often interpreted as Jesus demonstrating his obedience to the laws and customs of his time, even though he is the Son of God. By paying the temple tax, Jesus shows that he respects the authority of the temple and the religious leaders of his time. He also shows his willingness to submit to the laws and customs of the society in which he lived, even though he could have easily avoided paying the tax if he had chosen to do so.

In addition, Jesus' actions in this passage can be seen as a demonstration of humility and servant-hood. Despite his divine nature, Jesus willingly submits to the earthly authorities and pays the temple tax, not just for himself, but for Peter as well. This act of humility and servant-hood sets an example for all followers of Jesus to follow, as they are called to imitate his actions and attitudes in their own lives.

Additionally, Jesus' actions in this passage also indicate his willingness to provide for his disciples, as he uses a miraculous means to pay the temple tax, in which he makes use of the fish that Peter caught to find the coin in its mouth, thus showing his provision for them.

In conclusion, the story of Jesus and the temple tax in Matthew 17:24-27 is significant because it shows Jesus' obedience to the laws and customs of his time, his humility and servant-hood, and his provision for his disciples. It serves as an example for all followers of Jesus to imitate and follow in their own lives.

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