Jesus in Conversation with Power
The Temple Tax
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.”
Jesus never withdrew from society, he was careful to obey the laws and pay his taxes. He spoke of a different kind of power. A power that was strong enough to give the advantage to another, without feeling threatened. A power that was discovered not through wealth or force but encountered through acts of grace and kindness. All this got me thinking what would happen if we voted in the forth coming referendum not for our own prosperity but for the prosperity of another?
I was wondering if you agree with referendums?
Would you be a Brexit or a stay and’ fix it “person?
Would you vote at all?
Then I was thinking
You’d say something profound
Like, ‘Render to Caesar what is Caesar’s etc”
And do something clever
Like, finding a coin in the mouth of a fish
To pay your tax
How did you do that?
The more I thought about all this
The more I realise
You care as much about the causes
As you do the symptoms
I think you’d ask me
Will your vote help the vulnerable?
Will your vote help bring peace?
Will your vote create community?
Will your vote open or close doors?
Will your vote give others freedom?
Will your vote benefit others rather than you?
Will your vote cost you something?
Will you vote help you become more generous to others?
Will you vote be a sign of my Kingdom coming on earth?
Teach me how to vote
The ‘cross-shaped’ way