PETER AND THE TRIBUTE-MONEY.
: New Testament Stories
It was a part of the Jewish law that all strangers passing among the
Jews should pay to the priests of the Temple an offering to the Lord,
or tribute-money as it was called.
Soon after our Lord's Transfiguration He came to Capernaum, together
with His disciples. When they had entered the city, there came to them
the priests who usually collected this tribute-money, and they said
unto Peter, "Doth not thy
aster pay tribute?" And he answered, "Yes."
But when they had come to the house, Jesus said to Peter, "What
thinkest thou, Simon? Of whom do they take tribute; of their own
people or of strangers?" And Peter answered Him, "Of strangers."
Jesus saith unto him, "Then their own people are free; but lest we
should offend them by not paying, go thou down to the sea, and cast in
thy hook and line, and take up the first fish that taketh the hook
into his mouth. And when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a
piece of money there. Take it and give it unto the priests as tribute
for Me and for thee." And Peter went down to the sea and cast in his
line, and took a big fish. And when he had opened its mouth he found
the piece of silver, and took it to the men in payment of the tribute.
This tribute was collected to pay the expenses of the Temple worship.
Jesus sought to show that, as He himself was the Son of God, the King
for whose service the tribute was paid, He might justly be exempted
from paying it; yet to save giving offence He miraculously provided
the piece of money to pay tribute for Himself and Peter.