Thursday, August 20, 2009

Offending Christians

August 20, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today:
Jesus pays Temple tax with a miracle; Matthew 17:24-27

Matthew 17:24-27 NET
(24) The Temple Tax

After they arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the temple tax came to Peter and said, "Your teacher pays the double drachma tax, doesn't he?"
(25) He said, "Yes." When Peter came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, "What do you think, Simon? From whom do earthly kings collect tolls or taxes — from their sons or from foreigners?"
(26) After he said, "From foreigners," Jesus said to him, "Then the sons are free.
(27) But so that we don't offend them, go to the lake and throw out a hook. 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."

the tax talked about here was not a tax laid down by a king but by God through the written word. It was to pay for the upkeep of the temple. It was quite clear what Jesus was saying here. Hey, God is my dad. Does the son of the king pay a tax? For anyone that dares say that Jesus never claimed He was God, well Jesus says it here.

But Jesus makes it clear that he does not want to offend anybody. He was willing to pay the tax to not offend anybody and God approved of it by the fish giving a coin in his mouth, a clear miracle.

If Jesus does not want to offend, then why should we. In a Sunday school class recently, the teacher mentioned that he has a hard time talking to some people about Jesus. Why? Because they have been offended by the tactics of well meaning Christians trying to lead them to Christ. There is no one size fits all in salvation. Jesus used many different ways. One needs to take time and listen to the Holy Spirit and be guided in how to tell others about Jesus.

Read for next time: Disciples argue about who is the greatest; Matthew 18:1-6; Mark 9:33-37; Luke 9:46-48

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