Jesus’ Life: Chapter 9 – The Way To The Cross
Do you pay your taxes in full?
Once when Jesus was in Capernaum, probably staying in Simon Peter’s house, collectors approached Simon Peter and asked, “Your teacher pays the double drachma tax, doesn’t he?” Simon Peter replied, “Yes”.
The tax was a Temple Tax paid by all male Jews over twenty years. It was voluntary but seen as a religious duty and the money collected was used for the upkeep of the temple and its services.
When Simon Peter returned to his house, Jesus, who already knew what the collectors had asked, briefly discussed the king’s taxes (not the Temple Tax) with Simon Peter and noted that it came from their sons or foreigners. He then said to Simon Peter, “But so that we don’t offend [the Jewish people]… go to the nearby lake, throw in a line and, “Take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth, you will find a four-drachma coin. Take that and give it to them for me and you.”
Four drachmas was the tax due for two people, Simon Peter and Jesus. (Matthew 17:24-27)
Taxes are often a contentious issue in our society. Paying all our taxes, keeping within the spirit as well as the letter of the law, reflects our honesty and integrity. Governments and our Church need financial support to provide the services we expect.
Jesus paid his taxes.
Lord Jesus, open my eyes to the needs of others and the Church. Grant me the wisdom and honesty to serve those who serve me. Amen
Lord, teach me to be generous.
Teach me to serve you as you deserve;
To give and not to count the cost;
To fight and not to heed the wounds;
To toil and not to seek for rest;
To labour and not to ask for reward,
save that of knowing that I am doing your holy will. Amen