马太福音 17:24-27 到了迦百农，有收丁税的人来见彼得，说：“你们的先生不纳丁税（丁税约有半块钱）吗？” 彼得说：“纳。”他进了屋子，耶稣先向他说：“西门，你的意思如何？世上的君王向谁征收关税、丁税？是向自己的儿子呢？是向外人呢？” 彼得说：“是向外人。”耶稣说：“既然如此，儿子就可以免税了。 但恐怕触犯（触犯：原文是绊倒）他们，你且往海边去钓鱼，把先钓上来的鱼拿起来，开了它的口，必得一块钱，可以拿去给他们，作你我的税银。”
Matthew 17:24-27: 24 After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma temple tax came to Peter and asked, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?”25 “Yes, he does,” he replied. When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. “What do you think, Simon?” he asked. “From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes—from their own children or from others?” 26 “From others,” Peter answered. “Then the children are exempt,” Jesus said to him. 27 “But so that we may not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.”
Jesus paid his taxes. The Son of God, who created the universe and everything in it, paid his taxes. He didn’t complain about his governors and rulers. He didn’t chafe under Roman rule. Before Pontius Pilate, they accused him of leading a rebellion against Rome and telling people not to pay taxes to Caesar. But they lied.
Shame on us when we treat the authorities that God has placed over us with disrespect. That seems to be part of our culture today, and as Christians, we should be a shining example to the people of the world of what it means to give respect and to pay taxes to those who govern us. Did you hear the reason Jesus gave to Peter? “So that we may not cause offense.” Then he sent Peter down to the lake to catch a fish with a coin in its mouth to pay their taxes. No matter what side of the political debate you fall on, if you speak evil of the government God has placed over you, you will run the danger of giving offense.
And if we have sinned in this regard, this story reminds us that Jesus came into this world to live a perfect life in our place. He kept the fourth commandment for us. He honored and obeyed his parents. He respected his government. He even suffered in silence before the likes of Caiaphas and Pontius Pilate and Herod.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, forgive me for speaking in offensive ways against those whom you have placed over us, rather than honoring those whom you elected to govern us and giving them respect. Teach me to watch my tongue lest I cause the gospel to be blamed. I ask this for your sake. Amen.