The Miracles of Jesus (26/35)

It doesn’t matter how impossible it may seem. If you know God is calling you to it, He will take care of the details you can’t. That’s a message throughout Scripture and it’s wonderfully illustrated by the miracle today:

When they came to Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax went up to Peter and said, “Does your teacher not pay the tax?” He said, “Yes.” And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tax? From their sons or from others?” And when he said, “From others,” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are free. However, not to give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook and take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for me and for yourself.” – Matthew 17:24-27, ESV

There was a legitimate need. Jesus had to pay the temple tax. This wasn’t a physical need like someone needing healing or even someone being hungry. But it was a need, nonetheless, because it was a tax Jesus felt should be paid, if for no other reason than not to offend. The means by which that tax was to be paid, however, was unthinkable. This wasn’t a go find a day laborer’s job and get the money together or even beg on the side of the road attempt at getting the money way of solving the problem. It was, “Go catch a fish and the money will be there.” What? That’s not logical. I can see the wheels turning in Peter’s brain, “I can’t depend on that! I’ve been fishing before and I’ve never caught a fish with money it. I’m supposed to depend on that method to pay the tax?” Absolutely, because that is what God asked Peter to do.

A few things to note. First, the method. It’s not logical. We’d never come up with this as a plan in order to solve the problem. If we did, people would laugh at us, because it most likely wouldn’t work if it was our plan. Second, it was something Peter had likely done before, but not for those results. God used the familiar to accomplish the need. Just because you’ve done it a million times before doesn’t mean you’ve done it before. Wait. What? Let me explain. Just because you’ve done something over and over again is not the same as doing it with God’s direction and instruction and oversight. Peter had been fishing before. But Peter had never fished before under this particular command by Jesus with this particular expectation. So even though we’ve done something and we’ve not gotten the results, if God asks us to try it, just one more time, we need to swallow those words which say, “I’ve already done this but nothing happened.” This isn’t the only time we see this sort of thing. Remember, Peter and the rest of the guys had been out fishing all night and hadn’t caught anything, but then Jesus comes along and tells them to let down their net on the other side. Result? Miraculous catch of fish. It’s not so much about *what* we’re doing as it is about *who* is involved. Third, while this may not seem like a big need, note that Jesus met it. Just because it involved Jesus doesn’t mean anything. So if we think something is too small for God to worry about, we’re wrong.

Again, it’s all about faith. Just because God wants to use something familiar to you doesn’t mean He’s requiring any less faith of you. And just because it may seem small and trivial doesn’t mean God isn’t interested. And finally, even if it seems like a solution that has no chance at working, and you can’t see why God would even go this direction, remember that our God is in the miracle-making basis. He does what we can’t because He is God. He can. And He does it for His own glory. The more illogical and unlikely a solution that works, the less folks can claim it was them and their abilities. We have to trust Him. We have to put our faith in Him. And that’s when we really see the neat stuff happen.


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