Thursday, March 5. Matthew 17:9-27.
Things turn a sharp corner in Jesus’ life in today’s reading. He has just come down from the mountain of transfiguration where Peter, James, and John got to see a glimpse of his true glory. Now, he begins his death march toward Jerusalem.
There seems to be a frustration in Jesus’ voice in this passage. He is frustrated that people are sick. He is frustrated that his disciples couldn’t heal and lack faith. He is frustrated that Kings tax people.
Do you ever get that way? Do you ever look around and see all the pain, suffering, and terrible ways that people treat each other and get frustrated?
There is one little phrase in this passage that gives us a glimmer of hope. Look in verse 26. Jesus had asked Peter whether kings tax their own children or other people’s children. Peter said that they tax other’s children. Jesus replied, “Then the children are free.”
Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem to lay down his life at the hands of merciless leaders. His death and resurrection will set us free. We are God’s children because of Jesus. He came to set us free. He came to deliver us from the evil oppression of selfish tyrants and the bitterness and faithlessness that binds us up.
Jesus invites us to live in the Kingdom of Heaven where there is no tax and the children are free. Live as a tax-free child of God today.