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Goldfish

  • Goldfish from Refreshing Hope Ministries on Vimeo.

    Today I want to talk about a very strange miracle of Jesus that is recorded in the Gospel of Matthew. When Jesus and the disciples came to Peter’s hometown of Capernaum, tax collectors came up to them and asked them for money. Only Matthew wrote about this, and it may have stood out to him because he had been a tax collector in Capernaum himself. He would have been familiar with the local tax system. Let’s begin in Matthew 17:24:

    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.” Matthew 17:24–27 NASB

     

    This two drachma tax was based on Exodus 30:12. It was called the temple tax and it was collected once a year. Every Jewish male over 20 years old was required to pay half a shekel, which was about two day’s wages. The proceeds were used for the upkeep of Herod’s temple in Jerusalem, and to pay the priests and expenses there. 

    In order to pay the tax for them both, so they would not offend them, Jesus told Peter to go fishing. To cast a line into the sea and to take the first fish that he caught, open its mouth, and he would find a silver coin there called a shekel. That silver shekel coin was worth about 4 days wages for common labor like fruit picking. What a catch: one fish, four days pay.

    There are several things in this story, but I want to focus mostly on how absurd this request must have sounded to those standing near Jesus. Now I have no doubt that this happened because the other things that Jesus did make it sound trivial. Jesus who walked on water, raised people from the dead, healed lepers, opened the eyes of the blind, fed thousands with a few loaves of bread, and simply touching the hem of His garment healed people’s diseases, would be able to do this.

    Think for a moment how accurate Jesus had to be: He knew there was a silver shekel coin in the sea. A fish had curiously picked it up in its mouth and was holding it, without swallowing it. That fish was swimming near the shore of Capernaum. On Peter’s first cast, this fish would bite his hook. The coin was the exact amount needed to pay the temple tax for two people. That is God being Awesome.

    I say this because too often we view the wisdom of God as too small, as if He doesn’t understand what is going on here, or as if He doesn’t care. He does. We need to be open to unusual requests from the Holy Spirit that our natural mind does not understand, and never will. He thinks and operates on an entirely different level than us, and He tells us what we need to know today. He gives the orders. We follow them and we prosper.

    For example, we once had a preacher from Wisconsin come to town to speak at a near by church, but they canceled him without notice. He was young, broke, and he ended up stranded in our area at the bus stop. So he called local churches in the area asking for help, or possibly a chance to speak. My church asked me pick him up at the bus stop and bring him to our church. He was a nice fellow and they allowed him to speak.

    At the end of his message, they took up an offering for him to help him get back home. Our pastor said a prayer over the offering basket, said that he saw a light on it, and heard 100 fold. That all the money put in the basket would be returned 100 fold. I was young and struggling to get through Bible College at the time. I looked in my wallet and only had $40 to my name. The Holy Spirit said “Give it.” So I went up front and put the $40 in the offering basket. A couple of weeks later, someone came up to me and gave me $4,000. Exactly 100 fold of my $40 gift. God is able to do what He said He would do.

    Another time when I was struggling financially, and making about $250 a week. Sunday came and I went up front and painfully put my $25 tithe in the offering basket. That evening I opened my Bible and $250 fell out of it. I have no idea how it got there, but I know where it came from. It came from the Holy Spirit, just like the coin in that fish’s mouth.

    Sometimes what the Lord asks you to do will not make sense to your natural mind, but it does not need to. You don’t have to understand how it works, for it to work. You just need to be obedient. The Lord has ways of providing for you that you cannot see, but you have got to let go and trust Him. Peter had to walk down to that beach thinking “Oh dear… I’ve caught a lot of fish in the past and none of them had coins in their mouth, Jesus.” But when he came back up with four days pay, he felt differently.

    You can pray this with me if you like:

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, please guide me and speak to me in way that I understand. I choose to trust in You today. Fill me with Your Spirit, reveal the gifts that You have placed in my life to me, and show me how I can be a blessing to others. In the name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.


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22 comments
  • 1
Jack (Dale) Crump
Jack (Dale) Crump I want to go fishing now! :)
Nov 4
  • 0
Kevin J. Eck
Kevin J. Eck Amen,
4 minutes ago
  • 1
Mary Pat Taylor
Mary Pat Taylor

Thank you for this. Lord, I need Your help. I have medical bills to pay, and still need to find a place to live of my own. I can't do this without You. Please help mer, in Jesus' name, Amen. 

Nov 3
  • 1
Liesel  aka  Lisa Wardle
Liesel aka Lisa Wardle

Dear Heavenly Father, we lift up Mary Pat and all of her special needs as You know them! Please hear her prayer, send her a special blessing and help her with her financial needs according to Your goodness and mercy, in the name of Jesus, AMEN!

Nov 4
  • 1
Deng Tembreza
Deng Tembreza

Amen

Nov 4
  • 1
Liesel  aka  Lisa Wardle
Liesel aka Lisa Wardle

Amen and Amen! Thank you Pastor Dion, another much needed message!!! Have a blessed week, both you and Sylvia, and thank you for your ministry and your labor of love!

Nov 3
  • 1
Dave and Sue Earlywine
Dave and Sue Earlywine

Amen,thank you Sylvia and Pastor Dion,God Bless.

Nov 4
  • 1
Marisa Jackson
Marisa Jackson

Thank you Father in Heaven for ALWAYS being there in good times and bad.  You never leave or forsake your children, I am living proof as I get up each day and that in itself is a true blessing.  I thank you for the many gifts you continue to give me every day; but the most precious gift that I treasure and value most deeply is your most precious Son Jesus, my very true and best friend.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen!!

Nov 4
  • 1
Liesel  aka  Lisa Wardle
Liesel aka Lisa Wardle

Amen!!!

Nov 4
  • 1
Deng Tembreza
Deng Tembreza

PRAISE THE LORD. AMEN

Nov 4
  • 1
Brenda F
Brenda F

Amen! Thank you Pastor Dion for reminding us that even though it may not make sense in our mind it makes sense to God and that's what matters.

Nov 4
  • 1
Kay Collinsworth
Kay Collinsworth

Amen!

Nov 4
  • 1
Yvette York
Yvette York

Amen

Nov 4
  • 1
Jim Jarrell
Jim Jarrell

Amen! Thank You Lord! There is no limit to what You can do!

Nov 4
  • 1
Mari Kaufmann
Mari Kaufmann

I'm trusting in you my God. You know our needs. Praise God in the name of Jesus Amen 

Nov 4
  • 1
Wanda Pennington
Wanda Pennington

Amen. Lord thank you for all blessings. I pray in the Name of Jesus that you Bless everyone reading this lesson today and give back to everyone that has given unto you. Amen.

Nov 4
  • 1
Lynn Brown
Lynn Brown

Amen!

Nov 4
  • 1
Jose Simo
Jose Simoedited: Nov 4

Heavenly Father I thank You for all Your blessings, that Your Holy Spirit reveals to me the gifts You have provided us and give those in dire need. In Jesus name I pray,Amen. The Lord never forsake his children, praise the Lord. 

Thank you Pastor must needed message, God bless you. 

Nov 4
  • 1
Wesley Paulus
Wesley Paulus

Amen!

Nov 4
  • 1
Patricia Walker
Patricia Walker

Amen 

Nov 4
  • 1
Pranoti  Kumar
Pranoti Kumar

Awesome devotional Pastor

Thsnk you n God bless

Nov 5
  • 1
Sandra Colby
Sandra Colby

PRAISE THE LORD

5 hours ago