Peter’s experience fishing in Matthew 17:24-27, however, is completely different! The story begins with Jesus visiting Peter’s home. The temple tax collectors have asked Peter privately if Jesus will pay the temple tax; but before Peter can even ask Jesus, Jesus brings up the subject of the temple tax himself. This is a glimpse of Jesus’ omniscience, His ability to know
even the thoughts of men. Jesus is going to pay the tax; but to appease Peter, He talks about the fact that kings and their families do not pay taxes to their own countries, so He, the Son of God did not have to pay it. He tells Peter that He will pay the tax to avoid offending anyone. I believe that Jesus also set an example for us today that we should pay whatever we owe in taxes to the church and earthly governments.
Now to the fishing story! Jesus the Son of God has no money to pay the tax. “Though He was rich, yet for your sakes, He became poor” (2 Corinthians 8:9). God came down to earth in the form of a man and made Himself poor in order to live among us and to live like us! Jesus is not worried; He tells Peter to “go down to the lake and throw in a line. Open the mouth of the first fish you catch, and you will find a large silver coin. Use it to pay the tax for both of us,” (Matthew17: 27).
This little story is so rich with meaning. First, Jesus has power over everything, even the fish of the sea! He knows our every need and wants to supply it. We have no need for worry when we trust our needs to Him. However, note that the fish’s mouth contained only enough money for the tax, the immediate need. This shows us that we should be living in the present, not allowing worries about future concerns cloud and consume the time we have today. God is in control of the present and the future. Second, Jesus gave Peter a task for which he was well prepared. Jesus calls us to use our skills and work for His glory. Last, when we give our all to Jesus, others will be blessed and so will we. Nothing we do for Him, no matter how small the task, is ever wasted! All things are possible with God!