Jesus Friend Peter
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Jesus Friend Peter
Page 21

Four Drachma Coin

Jerusalem CrossAfter they later arrived in Capernaum, the tax collectors came to Peter and asked in Matthew 17.22-24, 'Doesn't your teacher pay the temple tax?' 'Yes, he does,' Peter replied." When he came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak in Matthew 17.25b-26, "'What do you think, Simon?' he asked. 'From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes from their own sons or from others?' 'From others,' Peter answered. 'Then the sons are exempt,' Jesus said to him. '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.'" The "drachma" was the Greek currency used at that time in Galilee produced and issued with the Romans permission and oversight by different states and cities. It continued to be used during the Roman era. The "four-drachma coin" weighed 4.3 grams of silver and was the most popular coin during Alexander the Great's conquests and continued as a local currency in Judea under the Romans. Four drachmas was equivalent to four days pay for a skilled worker, which was quite a lot of tax to pay even by today's standards!

Filled With Grief

Temple tax coinWhen they talked together in Galilee, Jesus said something astonishing to his disciples in Mark 9.31b, "The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise." The disciples were filled with grief at this statement of Jesus.

Peter's Doubt

FishJesus spoke of his sinless nature and asked the disciples whether any of them could prove him guilty of sin. If he were telling the truth, why wouldn't they believe him? Later in 2 Corinthians 5.21, Saint Paul explained that Jesus had committed no wrong, "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." Note here that "to be sin" can equally be translated as "to be a sin offering." Jesus friend Peter who walked and talked with Jesus explained after the resurrection in 1 Peter 2.22, "He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth." This was a reference to Isaiah 53.9, which said "He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth." Saint John, the disciple that Jesus loved, added in 1 John 3.5, "But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin."

"Jesus Friend Peter"
by Ron Meacock

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