Master of all, including fish and money


    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?” 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?” And when he said, “From others,” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are free. 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.” —Matthew 17:24-27 ESV

J. C. Ryle, wrote this about Jesus:

He makes a fish his paymaster. He makes a voiceless creature bring the tribute-money to meet the collector’s demand. Well says Jerome, “I know not which to admire most here, our Lord’s foreknowledge, or His greatness.”

We see here a literal fulfillment of the Psalmist’s words, “You make him ruler over the works of your hands; You have put all things under his feet–all sheep and oxen, yes, and the animals of the field, the birds of the sky, the fish of the sea, and whatever passes through the paths of the seas.” (Psalm 8:6-8.)

Here is one among many proofs of the majesty and greatness of our Lord Jesus Christ. He only who first created, could at His will command the obedience of all His creatures. “By him were all things created. By Him all things are held together.” (Col. 1:16-18.) The believer who goes forth to do Christ’s work among the heathen, may safely commit himself to his Master’s keeping. He serves one who has all power, even over the beasts of the earth. How wonderful the thought, that such an Almighty Lord should condescend to be crucified for our salvation! How comfortable the thought that when He comes again the second time, He will gloriously manifest His power over all created things to the whole world–“The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock–and dust shall be the serpent’s food.” (Isaiah 65:25.)


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