“Nevertheless, lest we offend them, go to the sea, cast in a hook, and take the fish that comes up first. And when you have opened its mouth, you will find a piece of money; take that and give it to them for Me and you.” Matthew 17:27
Have you ever been stressed about a bill you had to pay? Maybe your house or rent payment? Maybe one of your utility bills is going due or maybe it was your taxes? When you think about that time you worried about how you were going to pay or the hours spent trying to figure out a solution, was there anything accomplished? Ultimately and hopefully, you turned the care of it over to God and He provided the funds or payment in some way. All the stressing in the world couldn’t pay that bill, but when your heavenly Father got involved, there was nothing to worry about.
In today’s reading, it looks like Peter is concerned about paying the taxes. Although he is not the one to bring up the subject to Jesus, he is the one that Jesus talked to about it. Jesus knew what Peter was feeling and addresses the situation before Peter has a chance to turn it over to him. Notice that Peter didn’t tell Jesus that he would figure it out or handle it. He just listened and then did what Jesus told him to do. How many times have we ignored the voice of the Holy Spirit inside our heart because we didn’t thing His idea would work?
Interestingly enough, Jesus told Peter to go fishing. I believe this was Jesus’ way of letting Peter know that he didn’t need to worry about it. Jesus basically told Peter to take the day off from the ministry and go do something he loved to do. Since Peter was a fisherman before meeting Jesus, it was in his core to be one. I don’t believe Jesus was telling him to go to work because at the time his work was Jesus’ ministry. Jesus was telling Peter to take a little time to step away from the problem and spend some time by the water resting. If you have ever fished, you know it requires a lot of down time waiting for the fish to bite.
The rest of the story is that Peter did go fishing and found the money in the fish’s mouth. It didn’t make sense to the natural mind, but his obedience resulted in the solution. The only detail that isn’t disclosed is how long before he pulled that first fish in and what he thought about while he waited. My guess is that Peter caught the fish as soon as he stopped worrying about the taxes.
Today I want to encourage you that whatever you are stressing over, and what ever you are worried about, turn it over to Jesus. Cast your care on Him and let Him provide the solution. He may not rain a miracle of money down from heaven, but he will give you the wisdom and ability to where that miracle is. Like Peter, you may be required to obey a simple step like go fishing or take the day off, but when you take that step, you can be sure that provision is on the other side. Don’t try to figure out what God is doing when He tells you to “go fishing” just be quick to follow direction and don’t worry along the way. It may not make sense to you at the time, but most of the time the answer to our concerns come only when we stop worrying and start trusting that God our Father can handle it. And He handles it in a way that is far superior than what we would ever think of.
Today’s scripture reading: Matthew 17:22-27
22 Now while they were staying in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men,
23 and they will kill Him, and the third day He will be raised up.” And they were exceedingly sorrowful.
24 When they had come to Capernaum, those who received the temple tax came to Peter and said, “Does your Teacher not pay the temple tax?”
25 He said, “Yes.” And when he had come into the house, Jesus anticipated him, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take customs or taxes, from their sons or from strangers?”
26 Peter said to Him, “From strangers. Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are free.
27 Nevertheless, lest we offend them, go to the sea, cast in a hook, and take the fish that comes up first. And when you have opened its mouth, you will find a piece of money; take that and give it to them for Me and you.”