Matthew 17:22-27 Coin In A Fish Mouth

When they came together in Galilee, he said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. 23 They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life.” And the disciples were filled with grief.

24 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?”

25 “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?”

26 “From others,” Peter answered.

“Then the children are exempt,” Jesus said to him. 27 “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.”

Coin In A Fish Mouth

I like to think of you, Jesus, teaching Peter in a way that he needed to be taught.  I think of him as a tactile learner.  It might be a stereotype for a fisherman but I think if him jumping into situations and being very hands-on. That is why I think that you told him to get the temple tax out of a fish mouth.  It was a master stroke of teaching.  A lot of pastors just talk, as if that is the only style of teaching that you did.  However, you were more diverse than that.  Some people who think that all learning is cerebral  do not see why this fish was ever caught.  Some take it that you are having a private joke with Peter because it doesn’t mention in the passage that Peter actually went and caught the fish. These people implied that Peter would have responded by saying, “Nice one, Jesus!”  Which then raises the question of whether the tax was paid or not.

I believe that you were saying that even though you are the King of Kings and the owner of the temple, you would pay taxes so as not to cause offense.  I think that is an example of the grace that you showed, but it is also strategic.  It was not time to get yourself killed, so you didn’t press hard on the authorities.

I can learn a lot about teaching and wisdom from you here.  I should try different methods to drive my point home to my students.  Also I should be wise and strategic when thinking through my spiritual path.


  1. What was requested of Jesus?
  2. Why didn’t he have to pay?
  3. Why did he pay?
  4. What are some of the rights that you have?
  5. How could you give up your rights for the good of others?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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2 Responses to Matthew 17:22-27 Coin In A Fish Mouth

  1. antlong86 says:

    What happened to verse 21 young man? Too difficult?

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