Monday, December 21, 2009

The Law

Matthew 17:24-27
(24) When they came to Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax went up to Peter and said, "Does your teacher not pay the tax?"
(25) He said, "Yes." And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, "What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tax? From their sons or from others?"
(26) And when he said, "From others," Jesus said to him, "Then the sons are free.
(27) However, not to give offense to them, go to the sea and cast 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 me and for yourself."

Until today, I tended to see this passage as speaking to the miraculous power of Christ over nature. He did not have the ready means to pay the tax, so He sent Peter off to employ a miracle to get the money. This passage certainly does speak to that.

However, I got a new perspective from the ESV Study Bible today. In the past I tended to read right past verses 25 and 26. What Jesus is saying is that as sons of God He and His followers are free from the demands of the Law. This does not refer to the civil law, but rather to the Law as given by Moses.

This seems to dovetail with some of other Jesus' statements like that in the Sermon on the Mount about how He came to fulfill the Law. What I take this to mean is that we are no longer obligated to jump through all the hoops provided by God to come to Him. The blood for atonement was shed on the cross. Let's rejoice in that and enjoy the fellowship with God that follows!

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