Reading: Matthew 17:24-27
I had to do a bit of searching about the temple tax, as I do not recall reading about it in the OT. But apparently, it was the atonement money referred to in Exodus 30, paid every time there was a census, and eventually as an annual tax.
Now, if it was a decree from God himself, why did Jesus pay for his and Peter’s temple tax just so “not to offend”? Granted, Jesus was rightly exempted as He was God himself and was the Father’s Son, but at the river Jordan, Jesus maintained that he should go through baptism “to fulfil all righteousness” even though John the Baptist did not think he should. Well, what I can surmise is: the Lord Jesus only expressed differing reactions to the collectors and to John. With the former, they were presumptuous and malicious; whereas John knew Who was in front of him.
But what strikes me in my reading today is—we are co-inheritors with Christ (“… So that we may not offend them….”). In the future the kingdom of God will be fully established, and then there will be a new earth and a new heaven, and the new Jerusalem will come down from heaven and God’s dwelling will be with men—ie, with those who are His children. I hope, my friends, when that day comes we will all see each other there—as brothers and sisters, members of God’s family and household, the whole earth estate our inheritance, with no other authority except God our Father who has no thoughts of imposing tax on His very own children—those redeemed by the blood of His Son Jesus Christ.