Daily Word

Matthew 17:24-27

Read Matthew 17:24-27 – The Lord works in mysterious ways. Let’s take a look at this crazy unfolding of events that close chapter 17.

The tax collector raises a question with Peter over Jesus paying Temple tax. Notice that Jesus responds without Peter even asking a question(:25). And he makes Peter think through the logic… Rabbi’s don’t pay tax so why would Jesus? Yet Jesus would rather not cause offense, so he provides the tax by way of miracle(:26).

Lesson one, pick your battles.

Now, Peter is a fisherman. He fishes with nets and brings in lots of fish. Jesus tells him to simply cast a hook and catch only one fish, saying that he will find the money in the fish’s mouth. Peter’s obedience shows a sweet degree of faith and humility by not pointing out how weird and unlikely this is.

Lesson two, when Jesus speaks, just do it. Throw practicalities and ego to the side, and do what he says.

The last sentence in our chapter Jesus says to take the money and give it to them to pay for his tax and Peters. This is even bigger than it seems. Jesus didn’t owe the tax, but he paid it… much like he would lead a sinless life, but pay the cost of sin which is death. AND, he covered Peter’s tax as well much like his sacrificial death would pay the cost for my sin and yours.

Lesson three, Beloved believer, your sins are covered. You are free. “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:35

P.s. I’m going to a retreat this week and will be focusing on all that God has for me there. I pray you press on in your reading and we can catch up next week. God bless us all!

Daily Word

Genesis 47

Read Genesis 47 – I’ve been hung up on this chapter for a few days. There’s something about Jacob’s use of the word sojourn (found in the ESV, 47:4,9) that is giving me pause…. I’m sojourning on the word sojourn.

When I became a flight attendant decades ago, I thought it was like a sojourn, a temporary career/ life, and now? Jacob brought the nation of Israel to Egypt in similar fashion. They would be in their temporary residence of Egypt for about 400 years. What was necessary to save them eventually became something they were slaves to (Oops, I’m supposed to say ‘spoiler alert’ when I give away the ending like that).

Am I paying attention, and beloved, are you? What is our Egypt?

But, enough with my tangent.

Starting in verse :14 we see how Joseph’s wise preparation set Egypt up for absolute authority over the people as they surrendered everything for food. Joseph imposed a reasonable tax of 1/5th of all they acquired.

Then, at the age of 147, Jacob had Joseph swear an oath that he would carry him back to the place where his fathers were buried for his own final resting place.

What a tremendous chapter. What a big shift for Israel’s survival.