Sunday, May 29, 2016

Insight from the Four-Drachma Coin from the Fish's Mouth

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UNSEEN GOSPEL. Most of us just read past it and miss the rich Kingdom insight it reveals.

My first question is, why did Jesus do it---tell Peter to throw out the line to get a four-drachma coin from the mouth of the first fish he'd catch?

Why not do a job and earn a living just like everyone else?

Here's the passage:
After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma temple tax came to Peter and asked, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?”
“Yes, he does,” he replied.
When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. “What do you think, Simon?” he asked. “From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes—from their own children or from others?”
“From others,” Peter answered.
“Then the children are exempt,” Jesus said to him.  “But so that we may not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.” [Matthew 17]
Why not, instead, go catch fish, sell them and use the money to pay for the tax? That would've been practical and made better sense.

And how would preachers today interpret this? They'd say God never intended this to be interpreted literally, or else we'd all go out fishing to see if there was money in the fish's mouth and then try to make a living out of that.

And then we'd all laugh.

But just the same, why did Jesus make Peter do it literally, and none of them were laughing about it?

Sons are Exempt

And why did Jesus call his disciples away from catching fish (and call Matthew away from collecting taxes) and why didn't he himself do any job?

Jesus was into full-time preaching and healing. He never did a job.

ANSWER: Because sons are exempt. They are exempted from the curse that had fallen into this world.
"Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” [Genesis 3]
Being sons of God, we are exempted from the curse of going through painful toil just to earn a living. The blood of Jesus has cut the effect of the curse from us. Our Father's desire then is for sons to do His will full-time---just as his will for Adam and Even before the Fall was just to manage Eden and worship him, not do any hard work to earn their keep.

God's original plan was for us to freely get everything we need from creation---like take money from the mouth of the first fish we catch from our fishing hobby to pay our taxes with. No sweat.

Jesus did exactly that, and isn't he the Way to the Father? Because he is the Way and the Life, aren't we supposed to follow his ways and live his Life?

Jesus, the Second Adam, is the only Way for us to go back to God's Original Plan.

It's clear that in Jesus' mind, the kings of the earth should collect taxes and duties from their subjects, not from sons. Don't we have the mind of Christ? Earthly toil belongs only to those who opt not to be sons and daughters of the King and heirs of the Kingdom.

And even if we have to abide by some earthly ruling "so that we may not cause offense," we should get everything we need straight from the hand of God, as the Israelites were given manna straight from heaven for free because they were full-time into doing God's will for them.

Slaving ourselves to a job or boss isn't God's plan, no matter how "fulfilling" the job is. It's still part of the curse.

"You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings." [1 Corinthians 7.23]
Work is part of the curse. Your job, no matter how lucrative or how glamorous it looks like, is really part of the curse when man fell. 

That's why the goal is to be free from anything that entangles us---and that includes work---so we can utilize our full lives for God and His Word.

However, in the meantime, because we're yet so accustomed to work and enslaving ourselves to it, the apostle Paul counsels us to free ourselves of it gradually.

Were you a slave when you were called? Don’t let it trouble you—although if you can gain your freedom, do so. [1 Corinthians 7.21]
How It All Starts

Do your job well but also get ready to gain your freedom soon. How is that freedom coming about?

First, through signs and wonders. God can provide your needs supernaturally like how Jesus got the drachma coin for paying taxes from the fish's mouth. Like how he fed 5,000 and then 4,000 people with a few bread and fish. Like how ravens fed Elijah with bread and meat in the morning and evening. Like how God gave the Israelites manna. Like how he fed them quail in the desert. Like how God moved the wise men to bring the boy Jesus gold, frankincense and myrrh. 

Like how God can command "foreigners (to) work your fields and vineyards" [Isaiah 61.5] so we can focus on His Word and Kingdom on earth.

God will provide all our needs using the treasures of unbelievers because we are his ministers and servants doing his will (not church denominational works or activities).

And you will be called priests of the Lord, you will be named ministers of our God. You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast. [Isaiah 61.6]
These are not just fancy passages that are too good to be true. A lot of church people will probably laugh at this, but I believe all this will happen soon in these last days. God is about to free believers from toils and hardships from making a living so they can serve Him full-time for His end-time plans.

Second, believers will surrender all their possessions and resources at the apostles' feet like what happened in the Acts church. The apostles will in turn distribute the resources equally, according to each one's needs.

There were no needy ones among them, because those who owned lands or houses would sell their property, bring the proceeds from the sales, and lay them at the apostles' feet for distribution to anyone as he had need. [Acts 4.34-35]

God displayed this supernatural lifestyle in the bible not so we can just marvel at them but to let us know how he wants us to live like Jesus, even in supplying for our material needs.

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GOD's Flesh: "And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!" [Job 19.26-17]