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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Go Fishing (Matthew 17:27)

"But so that we may not offend them, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours" (Matthew 17:27).

Peter was probably a fairly successful fisherman before Jesus called him to leave his nets and begin fishing for men. Yet, here Jesus instructed Peter to throw out his line, this time for tax purposes. Taxes were due and demanded by the tax collectors. Jesus used fishing to teach Peter about His sovereignty over nature, His provision for His followers, and faith. So, He sent Peter fishing.

Historians say that one-half a drachma would take care of a three-member family for a day and that, roughly, a skilled laborer made about a drachma for a day's labor while an unskilled laborer made one-half a drachma a day. So, this fish has a lot of dough in its mouth. Talk about a front-loaded investment!

Where did the fish find and swallow a four-drachma coin? Maybe a tax collector with a pocket full of coins fell into the water earlier in the day, who knows? Well, Jesus knew and at some point He commanded the fish to hang on to its catch until He had need of it. It is amazing that the fish had enough room in its coin-filled mouth to actually swallow a hook as well.

Jesus is a real King. All resources belong to Him. Even fish obey Him. Struggling with a financial need? With doubt? You've got a King who knows your name and your needs and He has incredible resources. So, if He tells you to go fishing today you'd better go fishing!

Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading
Matthew 17:24-27

  • What does Jesus teach Peter about His kingdom? His followers? His provision?
Mark 9:38-41; Luke 9:49-50

  • What does John's statement reveal about John?
  • What does this scenario teach about Jesus and his view of ministry?
Mark 9:42-50; Matthew 18:6-9
  • What does this passage teach about sin and its consequences?
  • How does Jesus illustrate the seriousness of sin?
Matthew 18:10-35
  • What does this parable teach about the heart of God?
  • What process does Jesus give in confronting another person over sin?
  • What does this parable teach about the forgiveness of sin?
  • According to this parable who is the hardest on others?
Mark 10:1; Matthew 19:1-2; Luke 9:51
  • Describe Jesus' relationship with those who come to Him.
Luke 9:52-56
  • How do the disciples respond to the people's rejection of Jesus?
  • How does Jesus respond?
Luke 9:57-62; Matthew 8:18-22
  • How does Jesus respond to those making excuses?
  • What does Jesus look for in His followers?
Luke 10:1-20; Matthew 11:20-24
  • How does Jesus describe the disciples' mission and how will people respond to their mission?
  • How does Jesus re-direct the disciples' focus?
Turning truth into prayer
Are you struggling with unbelief during these days of economic instability? Thank the Lord for His provision and keep your eyes on Him and not the economic situation. He has His fish even today! He is a mighty King.