Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Meditations for Tax Day

That's when the Pharisees plotted a way to trap him into saying something damaging. They sent their disciples, with a few of Herod's followers mixed in, to ask, "Teacher, we know you have integrity, teach the way of God accurately, are indifferent to popular opinion, and don't pander to your students. So tell us honestly: Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?"

Jesus knew they were up to no good. He said, "Why are you playing these games with me? Why are you trying to trap me? Do you have a coin? Let me see it."

They handed him a silver piece. "This engraving—who does it look like? And whose name is on it?"

They said, "Caesar."

"Then give Caesar what is his, and give God what is his." The Pharisees were speechless. They went off shaking their heads.

(Matthew 22:15 - 22, The Message)

When they arrived at Capernaum, the tax men came to Peter and asked, "Does your teacher pay taxes?" Peter said, "Of course."

But as soon as they were in the house, Jesus confronted him. "Simon, what do you think? When a king levies taxes, who pays—his children or his subjects?"

He answered, "His subjects."

Jesus said, "Then the children get off free, right? But so we don't upset them needlessly, go down to the lake, cast a hook, and pull in the first fish that bites. Open its mouth and you'll find a coin. Take it and give it to the tax men. It will be enough for both of us."

(Matthew 17:24 - 27, The Message)

And I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, Who calls you by your name.

(Isaiah 45:3, AMP)


peacemaker said...

Last year I got to report a business loss and man, that thang was HUGE! But because of it, I got a tax refund. My first one since...oh...the end of the Carter era. I guess the downturn in the building business wasn't all bad. My refund wasn't a complete silver lining...maybe just a silver thread in that dark cloud.

This year, on the other hand, not so much.
But I find solace knowing I'm doing my part.
Why, my tax dollars are funding life changing efforts such as: the study into why pigs smell; new, innovative ways to use wood; ways to control cormorants(what tha...) in Michigan, Mississippi, New York and Vermont; and how to control the proliferation of Mormon crickets in Utah(that one's easy... just cut um back to one wife).
So how could I possibly resent sending my check today?

Tea, anyone?

Donald said...

I guess I need to go fishing!
Maybe they're biting today because I need to catch somewhere in the neighborhood of about 10,000 of them.

Northern Light said...

Hey Donald,
Peacemaker says we both have problems with controlling our cormorants. Were you aware of that?

Something to ponder while ur fishin'!

Northern Light

Northern Light said...

"And I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, Who calls you by your name."



Izumi/JOY said...

The Pharisees approached Jesus with flattery. And, even if that was their m.o., their statements were still valid. It's funny how they revealed their own hearts with, "So tell us honestly." (wha?? Why would He suddenly practice deception?)

The engraving on the silver piece is fascinating. I guess I "knew", but didn't make application until reading today's meditation.

Silver was used for business, (Luke 2:49) as well as for vessels for the sanctuary in the wilderness.

THEIR hands delivered to Jesus a piece of silver. Interesting for several reasons. That He asked Whose name was engraved there -prophetic.

OK, this may seem heretical, but, indulge me. Remember Psalms 25?

It describes several perspectives of God's character.

To the faithful, He's faithful, to the pure, He's pure. To those with integrity, He reveals His soundness. But, to the wicked, He reveals hostility.

The Pharisees were shrewd, so, wouldn't Jesus reveal Himself, quixotic?

Remember recent teachings, about how He had to learn obedience?

Wouldn't it be hilarious, (a la, Abba loves this kind of giving!!) if the coin that Peter retrieved from the mouth of the fish is the same that the Pharisees handed Jesus?

The point that He told Peter not to upset the tax collectors "needlessly" suggests a humorous nudge, to me.

Did He palm it?

After all was said and done, He rendered to Caesar what was his, and to God, what was His.

Why would Jesus instruct Peter to go out and catch a fish, rather than producing one out of the cosmos, when He certainly could have?

For appearance's sake?

Or, to fulfill all righteousness?

Why would He specify to a fisherman, where to look for a coin? Simon is a form of Simeon. ("hearing") It makes me consider John 14:12.

The line, "It will be enough for both of us" reminds me of Matthew 10:25, "It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord."

River said...

Paid the state. Now cleaning out the house to have a yard sale to have some extra to pay everyone else. LOL

The Lord provides me for I believe he will not let me go without.

Anonymous said...

I have an idea for you. Make snowballs, pack them on ice and sell them in Florida!

Northern Light said...

Word ver: mathi

"math"... on tax day, go figure, well yeah, literally, figure.'s getting to me ! ha


Anonymous said...

Another idea. Take a snow shovel and put a decal across the front that says:

"I used to live in MICHIGAN" and I'm sure the transplants here in GA will buy them and hang them in their garages for a conversation piece.

Northern Light said...


Okay now, who is this ??

Actually, since I just heard we might see some more of the "snow" before my trip there to GA next week., Perhaps I'll just bring the snowballs & shovels all at once and set up a little road side stand. Is that allowed in GA ?
p.s. I may need one of those "conversation pieces" for my own garage there someday!


"elle" said...

Just wanted to let you know that I posted in the prayer room. Good news!

Also, JB... I addressed you on my blog. Don't know how often you get over there, but wanted to let you know.


tracy said...

Brilliant! First year in as long as I remember that we get money back! Not a lot mind you-but works for me!! The cup IS half full!

linda said...

I am just sitting down to complete and e-file my taxes today - this day- the LAST day and here I sit but I got a Holy Lick put upon my head. Something as simple as "you don't have to be alive to pay the dog-gone things" And after the day that I have had today... who can argue??

Be Blessed

Avatar said...

Checkin' in. Life is going fast right now...I've enjoyed the reparte'. Love y'ALL!

PS...I'm still reading verses 21-28...with the Resurrection Day family picture, it seems all I can see is "began to unveil the big picture".

Northern Light said...

word ver: " baheappe "

Looking at it I saw "BE HAPPY"
Just sharing !

With all the kids through this home, (66 + my 8)...I surely enjoyed tonights LifeSkills Parenting Session and will post more on that blog, later~!

Northern Light

Erik said...

Hi Everyone,

What is Tax Day ? Something to do with fishing? Seems like it might be with abundance we experience knowing God has called ALL of us that exist, with the name that is within ALL names. Must be a wonderful day then. So, is Tax synonymous with wonderful? A new entry to add to my dictionary. Thank You Bishop.

Been offline for a few days.

Did see the service Sunday with the ordination. Praise God!! Good Man Judah.

Saw John Stewart this eve. In an interview about the economy and regulation ,he related Capitalism without Bankruptcy to Christianity without hell, then said that is what Judaism is. Well, The Word Made Flesh is Jewish, so I guess it fits. Christianity without regulation, sounds like children getting off without upsetting regulators needlessly.

Also sounds like this eve show of Saving Grace, no regulation, just faith.

Which I think about God expressing through every face we see, showing us salvation and blessing in who we see, absolutely expected in friends and unusually strikingly in enemies, antagonists, like the Pharisees. Yes, The Kingdom is in them both.

One of the topics in tonight’s service – Honoring our parents and children. To me that has made a tremendously enjoyable difference. Whatever natural challenges, honor of The Spirit in each of us opens receptiveness of favor, especially unmerited, unconditional favor. Like unconditional and honor, give and receive. Is that what Tax Day is ?

Anonymous said...

I like the last one best :)