Jesus Pays a Temple Tax with a Coin from a Fish’s Mouth
Several tax collectors approached Jesus’ disciple, Peter and asked if Jesus had endorsed and personally paid the temple tax, one all Jews were required to pay each year. Peter told them he had; assuming Jesus had already paid it before asking Jesus about it. When Peter entered the house Jesus was in, before he could ask about the tax, Jesus questioned Peter about who was exempt from paying the tax. Peter let him know king’s sons and their subjects were exempt. While Jesus in theory was not obligated to pay the tax being that it was a tax on His Father’s house, and he was the Son of God, He still wanted to pay His tax and Peter’s.
So, Jesus gave him instructions to walk to the shore of the Sea of Galilee, throw in a line and the first fish caught would have a coin in its mouth that would pay for the tax. This was a major test for Peter who was fisherman, and knew the waters well, but he let faith take the lead. Peter asked the tax collectors to follow him to shore and casts a line in the water. After reeling it in, he opened the fish’s mouth and the money was there! Not only does Jesus know the fish would have the necessary money but the particular fish Peter picked up contained the exact amount required. There is more to this story than paying a taxing bill. While the miracle of the coin in the fish’s mouth is one of the less dramatic miracle stories, it teaches a valuable lesson about faith and Christ’s omniscience.