- Sermon Notes
Because Jesus Paid it All
Illus. Don’t worry about it.
As we turn to the end of Matthew 17, Jesus again talks about the price that He was going to pay, which was only now six months away. He would be crucified, laying down His life, paying the price as the ultimate sacrifice for a debt He did not owe. After revealing what was ahead, we see again Jesus point them toward the lives they are to live with Him as the head. They were to follow His ways, in the big and the small, walking out their days according to His ways because He paid it all.
Read: Matthew 17:22-27
After expressing to His disciples, the importance of living lives filled with faith and prayer, Jesus again makes clear what is coming. His journey is
turning sharply toward the cross, as He would lay down His life paying the price, and covering the cost for the sin of all.
As He revealed this truth again, the disciples become deeply grieved. The reality was that they could not see that the resurrected Savior was what Jesus always intended to be.
So often we find ourselves in the that place. When what is to come is revealed, we don’t see the end, or understand it all, and therefore surmise that everything is about to fall! But the reality for us is the same as it was for the disciples, Jesus had come and would pay it all so that we would not fall, but in Him would stand tall! What Jesus was going to do and where He was going to go would give His disciples, you, me and all who would receive throughout history, a hope to stand on.
Romans 15:13, Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
I. Take Inventory of the Whole Story
- Here Jesus gives His second “passion prediction.” In doing so, He is revealing to the disciples what is to come: His death, burial and resurrection.
- Jesus’ first mention of this was in Matthew 16:21, it was there that Peter said to Jesus, “God forbid it…It shall never happen to you!” (16:22)
- The first time, Peter firmly disagreed, but in response, Jesus told Peter that He was setting his mind on man’s interests, not God’s.
- Jesus then went into the reality that for both He and His disciples, it would be the cross before the crown.
- Here again, Jesus tells of what is to come, but the disciples, in hearing again of His death and resurrection on the third day, were grieved.
Mark 9:32, They did not understand this statement, and they were afraid to ask Him.
- The disciples did not want to ask Jesus about what He meant by all of it, and not understanding what it all meant, they found themselves grieved
- They were grieved because they only heard part of the story. It seems they heard and understood Jesus say He would be betrayed and killed, but they didn’t hear and understand that He would be raised again.
- As He again tells of suffering and death, He again gives the assurance of victory, and the disciples seem to miss this point.
- They never rejoiced or marveled that He would be raised.
- They didn’t comprehend the triumph that would come in the end, that is apparent because at hearing the way things would be, they were deeply grieved.
- Jesus was telling about His death, but it was His death that would come in order that He would be raised to life.
- For you and me, the resurrection is essential to understand and see as well.
Illus. Resurrection: Romans 1:4-5, Acts 2:36, Romans 4:25, John 11:25, 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, Romans 6:8-11.
- When you are struggling to see any good in what is ahead, take inventory of the entire story, know that for those in Christ the outcome is glory, you are alive in Christ.
- The disciples were grieved, but they didn’t need to be grieved, they just needed to believe and entrust their future and plan into Jesus’ hands.
Illus. He had a better way.
Illus. This is how it will go.
Illus. We don’t see the end.
- For those in Christ, there is more to the story.
James 1:12, Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
- Live within the reality
Matthew 17:24-25, 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?” (NIV)
- As they come to Capernaum, a tax collector comes to Peter asking whether or not Jesus was planning to pay the temple tax.
- The temple tax was a tax that all faithful Jewish males age twenty and older would pay each year (Exodus 30:11-16; Neh. 10:32-33).
- It was a half-shekel, or two days wages for the average laborer in that day.
- The temple tax was used for the upkeep and maintenance of the temple.
- The Temple Tax was to be paid by the time of Passover each year, and here we see that those who collected it, were out collecting as the collection day was approaching.
- Some commentators believe they are trying to trap Jesus, or find another way to embroil Jesus in a debate about who should pay the tax. And if He didn’t, charge Jesus with disloyalty to the temple.
- Verses 24-25, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?” Peter replied “Yes, he does,”.
- Clearly, Jesus and Peter had not yet paid this tax for the year, and the men coming to Peter were asking preemptively, before the tax was actually due, whether or not Jesus would be paying the tax.
- To not pay the tax would be to separate oneself from and “offend” the religious community.
- Peter responds, “yes,” assuring the tax collector that Jesus would be paying the tax, though he had not yet spoken to Jesus about it.
- But before Peter could ask Jesus about it, Jesus anticipated the coming question and preemptively asks Peter a question of His own.
- Jesus’ question of Peter centers on “duty and taxes,” which were two basic types of taxes for customs (levied on goods) and poll taxes (levied on individuals), and a king, or ruler, would impose these taxes on the people.
- Peter answered correctly that the kings of earth collect taxes from “others,” not their own family. At hearing Peter’s expected response, Jesus said, “then the sons (children) are exempt.”
- In other words, Jesus was saying should we be taxed if I am King and you are My child? Does that make sense?
- If there was one tax that Jesus did not need to pay, this was it, however, Jesus continued, “so that we do not offend them,” Jesus told Peter that the tax was to be paid.
- That word to “offend” here is skandalizo, which is to trip a person up, to cause them to fall, or stumble.
- Jesus is saying that He and His disciples did not need to pay the imposed temple tax, but that they were going to pay it for the sake of those who did not believe.
- And as we live within the reality of resurrection life, this is important for us to catch as well.
- Living within the reality of salvation in Jesus means that our citizenship is in heaven (Phil. 3:20) as Paul wrote about, but because we are representatives of Christ, we are to represent Him well in the way we live here on earth.
- Jesus says it here plainly, “the children are free,” but in that freedom, we understand the greater reality and importance of people being brought into God’s kingdom.
2 Corinthians 5:20, We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us…
- As God’s people we are foreigners on earth because our loyalty remains to our real King – Jesus.
- An ambassador is a representative. An ambassador to another country keeps the local laws in order to represent well the one who sent them.
- We are Christs ambassadors on this earth, making an appeal through us to reconcile the world to Himself.
- Are you living within that reality and representing Christ well?
Illus. Who are you representing?
Colossians 3:17, Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
Philippians 2:7-8, He made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!
- Take the next step
Philippians 4:19, And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Matthew 17:27, 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.”
- You might think, “well, Peter was a fisherman, Jesus was providing for him through his expertise.”
- Possibly so, however, the way in which Peter was going about this was quite different, and more humbling than you might think.
- Peter did not do this for hobby or sport, Peter was a professional. Professionals used nets, they would most of the time catch an abundance of fish, not just one.
- It would be a humbling way for him to fish that day, surely, he would have hoped that none of his other fisherman friends saw him throwing in a hook to catch just one fish at a time.
- He according to Jesus’ direction, and though it may not have been the way he would normally pursue going about his business, Jesus had pointed Him to a particular place and instructed him in which instrument to use.
- After casting his hook and line, Peter would find the first fish that came up would have a shekel in its mouth.
- A shekel, equaling four-drachma, enough to cover them both.
Illus. Jesus paid the price.
1 Peter 3:18, Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the Spirit.
1 John 2:2, He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
And while they were gathering together in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men; and they will kill Him, and He will be raised on the third day.” And they were deeply grieved. 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.”