“When they came to Capernaum, the collectors of the temple tax came to Peter. They asked him, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?” “Certainly,” he answered. Peter went into the house. Before he could speak, Jesus asked him, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the world collect fees or taxes? Is it from their family members or from other people?” “From other people,” Peter answered. Jesus said to him, “Then the family members are exempt. However, so that we don’t create a scandal, go to the sea and throw in a hook. Take the first fish that you catch. Open its mouth, and you will find a coin. Give that coin to them for you and me.” (Matthew 17:24-27 GW)
I’m sure you have often wondered when reading this Scripture : How did the money get in the mouth of a fish? I always thought, well it’s easy for GOD to put money in the mouth of that fish.
The record in Matthew is not as odd as it might seem to us. In the Bible lands there is a fish called a Musht (Chromis Niloticus). This fish is about six inches long, has a large head, and a bag under its mouth. The Musht picks up coins and other objects that sparkle in the water and keeps them in the bag under its mouth.
How Do Coins Get In The Water?
In Bible times offerings to God were taken very seriously. There were those who wanted to give an offering but did not want to receive any recognition for it. Many believed that if you received praise from men then you had already received your reward now in this world. They wanted to receive their reward in the next world.
So, in order to keep it private, many would throw their offerings into the waters. Throwing their offerings into what were considered “holy waters” would be best. But, depending on where one would be, any water would do.
They are hard to catch and rare but some men have become rich by catching Musht. Other fishermen have never caught one. Coins are often thrown into bodies of water that people believe to be holy at times of prayer as offerings to God. The Musht pick up the coins from the bottom of the rivers.
I have read that after new Musht hatch, the parents keep the new fish in the pouch for a short while to protect them.
Then when it is time, the parent fish will begin to pick up pebbles from the bottom of the sea and put them into the pouch. This is done so the new fish will not be so comfortable – it’s time for them to leave home!
We have an awesome GOD.
GOD has promised to meet all of our need. We can trust him to perform that which He has promised and care for us.
That does not mean we should go fishing to pay our taxes…ha,ha,ha….
But it does mean that God will supply all of our need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Php 4:19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (NKJV)
Php 4:20 Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen. (NKJV)