Matthew 17:27 (AMP)
However, in order not to give offense and cause them to stumble [that is, to cause them to judge unfavorably and unjustly] go down to the sea and throw in a hook…
Jesus knew where He stood and He wasn’t about to ruin any loyalty towards the temple or cause any more strife among His enemies. As I had mentioned in the previous email, we have to remember not to cause an action that may stumble someone who is watching us.
I Corinthians 8:12-13 (AMP)
12And when you sin against your brethren in this way, wounding and damaging their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13Therefore, if [my eating a] food is a cause of my brother’s falling or of hindering [his spiritual advancement], I will not eat [such] flesh forever, lest I cause my brother to be tripped up and fall and to be offended.
Jesus was leaving a legacy for those that would follow. He knew the importance of being an example to others and always thought about the weaker vessels. There were times that He had to be strong and persistent in His work. But there were other times He needed to make a decision not to allow his followers to question His ultimate goal. You can also read Romans 14:15-19; another good scripture to meditate on.
Jesus asks Peter to go to the sea and throw in a hook to catch a fish.
Matthew 17:27 (AMP)
… Take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find there a shekel. Take it and give it to them to pay the temple tax for Me and for yourself.
If you and I were to get instructions to do this, we would wonder if Jesus was really asking us to do this. But Peter doesn’t question it, which was rare, since he questioned everything. He walked down to the sea, threw in a hook, caught the first fish, and as he opened the mouth of the fish, he found a shekel to not just pay the temple tax for Jesus, but to pay his debt as well.
Jesus was here and died for our debt of all unrighteousness. He wasn’t here to take care of Himself, but to take care of others and be a light to those who are in darkness. Those who are in darkness are not just the people in the world. We have Christians who are faithful and true, but have certain areas of their life that are still in darkness. Are we condemned then? No, we have to ask the Lord to bring those things we may not understand and have no knowledge of to be revealed and be added to wholeness in our life.
Whatever we have that is not good and not from God, let’s ask for revelation and understanding. For the truth to be set free within us so we can be knowledgeable of the bondage, and move into the realms of spiritual recovery. Then, move into physical recovery.
Jesus was still in control of the situation. By Peter’s obedience of doing exactly what Jesus asked him to do, Jesus was able to do a miracle through Peter, and perform a public spectacle to those who were watching. It made it in the Bible so we know that there were many eyes that were watching every step that was being taken.
Christians are meant to live free. Let’s not underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit and all the works He can perform within us when we allow Him to control all things and brings us to truth and wholeness.