The Crucified Life Ministries Blog

A Temple Tax

April 12, 2021

A Temple Tax

Matthew 17:24-27 (KJV) And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. 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.

I do not know how many times these verses are mistaken to be speaking of a Roman Government tax, similar to taxes we pay to our local, state, and federal government today.  However, this verse is talking about a temple tax, something altogether different.  Some misinformed citizens have even used this scripture to avoid paying their government levied taxes but to no avail.

An ancient temple tax was a voluntary tax levied on the Jewish men of the temple.  It is perceived here by some that since Jesus had been traveling with His ministry, perhaps His tribute money was even late in coming into the temple.  At any rate,  whether it is late or paid on time, those in charge of collecting these “charitable funds” eyed the fact that Jesus had not yet paid this charitable tax.

The necessary money was provided by God so that the temple tax is taken care of, not only for Jesus but for all the disciples.

Not only did these men recognize this man Jesus, but they knew that He owes the temple tax.  Jesus was generous and unwilling to offend anyone; He paid this levied tax for Himself and His disciples with funds acquired in fishing.

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