'THE HOOK' Trilogy part II
When they had come to Capernaum, those who received the temple tax came to Peter and said, “Does your Teacher not pay the temple tax”
He said “Yes.” And when he had come into the house, Jesus anticipated him saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take customs or taxes, from their sons or from strangers?”
“Nevertheless, lest we offend them, go to the sea, cast a hook, and take the fish that comes up first, and when you have opened its mouth, you will find a piece of money: take that and give it to them for Me and you.”
Capernaum was a small fishing village located on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus had established His headquarters there for several months during His ministry. It was a small village of about 1500 people. Notice the men approached Peter and not Jesus? What’s up with that?
Satan, intimidation causing Peter to back down, ‘we’ll test his leadership.’ Peter answered “Yes” nothing else, it was a tough question for a new convert to answer. Once you have given your life to Christ the enemy will bring the tough questions your way, and like all of us, more than likely you will probably get them wrong in the beginning. This is by design to destroy your confidence in the Lord.
Why didn’t they just ask Jesus themselves? They called Him Teacher, by saying “your Teacher” this shows that they do not recognize Jesus, even though He has turned their town upside down with revival. Tradition and position are more important to them than God.
Jesus earlier had pronounced a woe against Capernaum in Mathew 11:23, this was probably the cause for them not liking Jesus too much. If they had believed in a living God, they would have sought out repentance instead of fault through tax.
Then we see that Jesus refers to Peter as Simon, the name Peter means ‘Rock’. Jesus had given this name to Peter as a new identity, and by calling him Simon he was implying that Peter had slipped back into his old ways. Remember when the very first thing He said to Peter? “Don’t be Afraid!” Luke 5:10.
Peter could have said, “Does the Son of God pay tax to His own Temple?” Peter probably was just going to keep quiet about the conversation and pay the tax himself.
Nevertheless, Jesus is going to teach Simon a lesson in ‘Who He is.’ How many thousands of fish do you think Simon caught in his lifetime? I bet he never caught a fish with a coin in its mouth.
Simon had to walk all the way down to the seashore thinking about this whole ordeal, astonished in disbelief that he had been dragged into this, “why me?” Simple Peter you’re in leadership now and the devil despises authority, especially if it threatens his.
One time I talked about someone and the Lord told me “You need to receive correction.” I knew what I had said was wrong, I just said, “Father I’ll take it like a son.” Really thinking that He would place me on probation in the ministry or something. He said: “I want you to take a spoon and give it in the offering bucket.” You know it sounds silly, doesn’t it? But I had to explain to Judy why I needed to place a spoon in the offering bucket and wait until the next church service to place it there, nevertheless, it gave me a lot of time to think about my mistake and the words that come out of my mouth.
Simon went through the same process, because we are the fish, and only precious words of gold should come out of our mouths. Not a painful hook.
He is: “Lo Shanah”