S (Scripture) – Matthew 17:24-27 “When they came to Capernaum, those who collected the two-drachma tax came to Peter and said, ‘Does your teacher not pay the two-drachma tax?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, ‘What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth collect customs or poll-tax, from their sons or from strangers?’ When Peter said, ‘From strangers,’ Jesus said to him, ‘Then the sons are exempt. However, so that we do not offend them, go to the sea and throw in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for you and Me.'”
O (Observation) – Father God in heaven, You sent Your Son, Jesus, to crash into time on this planet and walk among us. Here He was at the temple that was built to serve the living God, and the tax collector actually came up to Him and Peter inquiring as to where their required temple tax for the sacrificial system might be. If only the tax collector knew that the very Son of God was the One he was asking to pay a tax at His own temple! Instead of raising His voice and exclaiming that He was, in fact, the God of the universe and had no need to pay a tax in order to worship there, he humbly “surrendered His right to the exemption to avoid undue offense, and miraculously provided the resources for Peter to pay the tax for both of them, suggesting that Peter is among ‘God’s sons’ because of his connection with Jesus…Matthew shows his readers Jesus’ humility in paying a tax for His Father’s house from which He was exempt, and in His perfect willingness to provide for Peter’s needs (The Moody Bible Commentary).”
A (Application) – How amazing is the God we serve?! “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13) The connection that we have with Jesus is what allows us to have all of the rights and privileges of sonship. That connection must be nurtured, cultivated, respected, and prioritized. Jesus wants to have an intimate relationship with us, and it is necessary in order to find out what exactly it is He has for us to do for Him while we are here on this earth. Our lives are not just supposed to bounce around from one day to the next, going through the motions, working, paying bills, retiring, then wondering one day when we reach a ripe old age how exactly the time went by so fast…there is so much more planned for us if we would only recognize our position in God’s kingdom through our relationship with His Son. We must expand our perspective and see beyond our universe that revolves around us. There is no shortage of broken and hurting people all around us that need the love of Jesus to flood over them…that need someone to care enough to care for them.
P (Prayer) – Precious Jesus, thank You for all that You have done for me. Thank You for passionately pursuing me, loving me, caring for me, forgiving me, rescuing me, and guiding me. I look back on my life several years ago in amazement at how far we have come together. If only everyone could experience the peace, power, victory, and assurance that You freely give…help me to love others well, and show them what it means to be a son or daughter of the King. May my life be a song revealing Who You are…(Lauren Daigle)