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Briefing: Have you ever had a partner who always wanted to talk about his/her favorite subject? I knew a guy who loved a certain theme park and all the movies that this company had made. He talked about it all the time. At times I wondered if this person was born talking about it because that seemed to be all he ever knew.

Dispatch (Assignment): Read Matthew 17:14-27. What are you passionate about?

On the Street: Peter went out with power and authority but could not heal the demon possessed boy. He did not understand why he was not able to perform this act. I like Peter’s response. He does not seem to get embarrassed or ashamed, but goes to Jesus to find out why. Jesus does not give him a parable or a riddle. He tells Peter what he lacks.

Later Jesus teaches Peter a new lesson. First, Peter was outside talking to the tax collectors, out of Jesus’ hearing. Jesus does something here that we rarely see. When Peter comes inside, Jesus reveals some of His supernatural power and answers Peter’s question before Peter has a chance to reveal the conversation. I would like to have seen his reaction. Was Peter in need of a little supernatural insight, a little extra convincing?

Jesus explains to Peter that the children of the king are exempt from paying duty and taxes. Jesus is the son of the King of kings. If anyone was ever exempt from paying, Jesus was. I believe Jesus was teaching more than just Peter. John 1:12-13 says, “Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God, children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” We who receive Jesus become sons and daughters and are exempt from paying for our sins at judgment. Jesus Christ paid for our sins on the cross! Not only do we see Jesus paying Peter’s tax here, we also see the foreshadowing of Jesus paying for all of us on the cross.

Highlights from this Read: I would like to see the father approach Jesus and kneel, acknowledging Jesus’ authority. His request, “have mercy”, tells me that he understands that God has control of all things, otherwise Jesus would not have the authority to give mercy.

In verse twenty, Jesus is telling the disciples that time is running out and they must learn to have more faith. It is also interesting that Matthew is the only gospel writer to include this miracle. Matthew was a tax collector and understood Jesus paying our debt.

Investigational Resources: Other gospel accounts can be found in Mark 9:14-28 and Luke 9:37-42.

Officer Safety Principle: Judgment is coming. Are you a son or daughter of the King?

from The Gospel of Matthew Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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