Our Lord Provides
June 19, 2021
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" (Matthew 17:26-27).
It is understood that Jesus and Peter were alone in this conversation since the other disciples are not mentioned by either person. It was important that Peter should witness this miracle of catching a fish with the exact coin Jesus said it would carry in its mouth. Peter was the de facto leader and spokesman of the disciples, and the role he would have after the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus would demand his dependence upon the wisdom, leadership, and power of God upon him.
The road ahead for Peter would be challenging. We cannot imagine the mental, spiritual, and emotional pressure he would be subject to leading up to, and including the resurrection of Jesus. Jesus knew Peter would deny Him in the courtyard of the High Priest while standing trial before the Sanhedrin and told him that he would! To prove that He had divine omniscience, He told Peter that he would catch a fish that would have the right coin in it to pay their ‘poll tax’ (a ‘stater’ or shekel was equivalent to four drachmas. The ‘poll tax’ was two drachmas per person, so Peter would catch a fish that had the exact coin in its mouth to pay the tax for both of them). This would give credence to Jesus’ warning that Peter would deny Him 3 times on the night of His trial. If Jesus was right about the shekel in the fish’s mouth, He would also be right about Peter’s denials. He was, but Peter was not in the frame of mind to remember this.
It is possible for fish to have foreign objects in them from bottom feeding or from snatching an object out of the water as it drifted or sank by them. That Jesus would know Peter would catch a fish that would have a shekel inside it either underscores His divine omniscience, demonstrates His divine power in directing the fish to the exact spot where such a coin rested at the bottom of the Sea of Galilee then moving upon the fish to pick it up in its mouth and swim to the exact place where Peter was fishing, or His divine power in creating the exact coin in the exact fish that Pete would catch. It was necessary for Peter to experience this because divine wisdom and understanding and power would be necessary for him to be successful in his ministry after the Holy Spirit would come upon him. Peter would need to realize that nothing is impossible with God - nothing.
“Lord Jesus, remind me that nothing is impossible with You. Remind me daily that all I need to carry on the ministry You have entrusted to me, will provide through Your Holy Spirit. All that You require of me is to be faithful and to depend upon You. To Your honor and glory I ask, Amen.”