Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.Matthew 17:27
This verse and several others have been hijacked by the “name-it-claim-it” prosperity doctrine heretics parading self-help and wealth building around as Christianity. There is nothing Biblical about the idea that if you just follow Jesus, He will give you all the riches you desire. Just look at the Apostle Paul. His ministry was fully dedicated to Christ and it brought him poverty, beatings, and eventually death. I’ll not spend any more time on this ridiculous nonsense. My words may offend, but I would rather they offend and help people to see the horrible error so they can turn to Christ for His glory not their own.
So, what does this text teach us?
The context shows us that the primary focus in our lives should be the promotion of the Kingdom of Christ. Jesus tells Peter to pay the tribute so that there is no unnecessary conflict with the Jewish rulers at that time. Peter was focused on serving Christ, and Christ took care of the tax. Early in His ministry, Jesus promised this:
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.Matthew 6:33
What I find interesting is the illogical arguments that so many make for not serving Christ with regular church attendance and other Christian duties. They argue that they need to take care of their families. I agree that this is an honorable and good thing to do, but are we truly “taking care” of our families if we are not giving them the spiritual instruction they need?
There are many examples of Jesus using money to show the level of devotion in a person. I think He does this because it is very easy to see. There is empirical evidence that can easily be evaluated because YOU CAN COUNT MONEY. This lesson should show us that, if we truly want to take care of our families, the best way to do that is to be as close to Jesus as possible. When we are putting the glory of the Kingdom of Christ first, Jesus takes care of things so that we can continue to minister.
We CANNOT serve God and mammon (love of money). Jesus said that plainly. It seems to me then that there is only one logical course of life.
Serve Christ. Promote His Kingdom. Worship Him regularly in Church.