“Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.” Matthew 17:27 (KJV, emphasis added)
When I was a four year old little boy, my late Grandmother Daisy Bell (who we affectionately addressed as “Mama”) raised earthworms in what seemed to be some special, semi-damp and dark soil. We referred to it as her “Bait Bed”. It was there that we would gather what I believed to be the largest, most energetic and enriched earthworms in the world. I would eagerly fill my can and “Mama” would take me on a fishing trip. She taught me how to go into the woods and cut down my own cane pole. She would show me how to ready my pole by tying a line, putting on a bobber and some lead and then tying a hook. Then, before I began to drop my line I would place on my hook what I believed to be the best bait. My grandmother was great at finding the best spot to catch a fish! She always knew where to find them. I could not wait to see my bobber break out in dance or take a dive under the water when a fish bit the bait. It was a beautiful thing to behold when a fish caught on the line. The experience was exceptional and it always embraced me in joy, wonder and awe.
In our opening text, an experienced fisherman named Peter was directed to go on a special fishing expedition. Remember, Scripture reports that Peter made his living as a fisherman who was accustomed to using nets rather than hooks. Maybe Peter needed a bite out of some humble pie because it’s plausible that he would never try to catch just one fish with a hook. Besides, he was a fisherman by trade and he would know the most productive way to catch fish. I submit to you that Peter was in line for another lesson on faith.
Peter was approached by some tax collectors and they asked him if his Teacher paid taxes. Without hesitation Peter replied, “Yes.” Although Jesus being a Master and Teacher was not required to pay taxes, He told Peter to drop a line with a hook and catch a fish with money in its mouth to pay the taxes. By doing so, it was Jesus’ intent to maintain a good testimony with those who collected taxes.
It is interesting to note that the Lord did not tell Peter to go to Judas, the treasurer of the group, who was in charge of the money bag (John 12:6). Nor did Jesus tell Peter to borrow the money for the tax. Instead, He told him to go fishing. I submit to you that Peter had the best bait to catch a special fish that would meet a specific need. That bait was obedience! Without hesitation Peter hurried to do what he was told.
What is it that the Lord has directed you to do that does not line up with your logic? Take your line of faith, place a hook of obedience on it and you will meet that unique or extraordinary need that you have.
For the Glory of God,