Catching “the fish“that has coins in its mouth (Matthew 17:24-27)
When you study the Matthew 17:24-28, you will be amazed at the following;
(a) That Jesus paid tax
(b) That He paid with was miraculously supplied- it was found in the mouth of a fish; yes! Hilarious, but amazing.
But, are these all there is to draw from that story? Is the Master teaching us that; when next our rent expires, all we needed do was send a “peter” to the nearest lake, river or sea to catch a fish that would probably just about enough gold coins in its mouth to clear our bills?
There was more to that story that just: The Lord Jesus, Peter, the tax-collectors, the lake and a fish! Jesus actually thought us; how to generate the money needed to pay bills, as well as, execute the many great ideas and plans we have.
Let’s go over that story again. Jesus and his disciples had journeyed, and came into Capernaum. They were accommodated by a generous follower of the Master, who was more than excited to have Jesus and His disciples in his home.
One day, Peter had gone to run some errands, and on his way back, he was stopped by two officials of the Temple’s tax office (for it was customary for the Jews to pay Temple tax at a certain age). Peter, politely engaged them in a gentlemen conversation but, promised he was sure to relay the message back to His Teacher, and that, they would pay their bills promptly.
When he got home, he met with Jesus, and the Lord told him:
“…so go to the lake and drop in a line. Pull up the first fish you hook, and in its mouth you will find a coin worth enough for my temple-tax and yours. Take it and pay our taxes.”
(Matthew 17:27 GNB)
The questions that never failed to come to mind were: why the lake? Why not: “under the bed” or “in your right pocket” or “go dig 3inches near that big old fig tree behind the house”. As I studied more, I realized there was more to the story than just a fish with coin in its mouth. Read what 1 Peter 4:10 GNB has to say;
Each one, as a good manager of God’s different gifts, must use for the good of others the special gift he has received from God.
This Scriptural verse is actually telling us something that has a relationship with our opening verse. It shows us that God has put in every human being, gifts in form talents. And Peter, by the inspiration of the Spirit, admonishes that we use our talents for the benefits of others (and subsequently, for ourselves).
In our opening verse, Jesus understood that the Father has blessed every single human being with talents, and He recognized a part of Peter’s as fishing. I mean, this man Peter could fish! He was so skilled; he could fish in a canoe with just a line in the middle of the night!
Notice the Lord didn’t say; “go to the lake. When you get there, stand on one foot and say; ‘fish! Fish!! Fish!! Come out now!’”. No He didn’t. Peter actually had to work when he got to the lake. He employed his fishing skills.
The story in that Scriptural reference (Matthew 17:24-27) is actually symbolic in the sense that; it teaches Christians part of the many ways God had designed for them to generate income.
In that story, Jesus typified God. Peter typified the Christian. The lake typified the immediate sphere you find yourself, and beyond it. The fish typified people who are in need of your talents, and are willing to give you “coins” for them.
Here’s what to do…
1. Identify your talent(s)
2. Appreciate it. Don’t lust after another person’s talent; yours is also “cool”.
3. Develop it by always sharing it with your immediate contacts in your sphere.
4. Don’t commercialize it yet. It still needs a lot of working. That you got a testimony from a sister of brother isn’t enough. Share it…Test it…Stretch it!
5. Commercialize it. Peter had a business man’s approach when he got to that lake. He understood bills needed to be paid. Now, give it a business approach.
6. Be sure you run every idea, thought or/and action by God-His Word. Be sure it passes all the conditions for healthy and productive thinking in Philippians 4:8
Just like Peter, you also have a “fish in the lake” to catch!
God Bless You!