Matthew 17:24-27 ESV
When they came to Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax went up to Peter and said, “Does your teacher not pay the tax?” He said, “Yes.” And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tax? From their sons or from others?” And when he said, “From others,” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are free. However, not to give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook and take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for me and for yourself.”
I. TO PAY OR NOT TO PAY (24-27)
A. Jews collected Temple tax all the way back to Moses. Jesus normally paid it but had not yet paid this year.
B. Jesus asks Peter a question to teach him something.
C. Jesus, as the Son, did not owe taxes to His Dad. Jesus would still pay to avoid causing others to stumble on their way to Him.
II. FREEDOM, SWEET FREEDOM
A. We are born a slave to sin, which means we are born enslaved to a dark master, Satan. (John 8:31-47)
B. God sends Jesus to set us free from our slavery to sin. We are set free by the truth and Jesus is that truth. (John 14:6)
C. We have the same freedom as Jesus because we are God’s kids, just like Jesus. (John 1:11-13, Matthew 12:1-8)
III. FREE FROM ORE THAN SIN
A. Jesus not only sets us free from sin and Satan but a life of trying to do good to be in the good with God.
B. Jesus sets us free from chasing blessings & to pursue the glory of God.
IV. FREE, WITH LIMITS
A. Not only are we as free as Jesus but we also have a responsibility to use our freedom the same way Jesus did.
B. Freedom in Christ means what we do now matter more than ever.
C. Guidelines to govern our freedom in Christ:
1. If it is condemned as sin by the Word of God, don’t do it.
2. If it is encouraged or commanded by the Word of God, do it.
3. Listen to your conscience.
4. Consider how what you do will affect others in and outside the church.
V. USING OUR FREEDOM LIKE JESUS
A. Our freedom in Christ should be used in the context of love for others and responsibility to the church.
B. Examples from New Testament:
1. To Romans: Use your freedom to pursue peace and the encouragement of the whole church. (Rom 14:13-23)
2. To Corinthians: Even if what you do is ok, if you do it knowing it will cause others to struggle, it is a sin against Jesus. (1 Cor 8, 9:12)
3. To Galatians: Use freedom to serve one another in love. (Gal 5:13-15)
4. Peter: Use your freedom to live as servants who honor those in and outside the church. (1 Peter 2:16-17)
1. Belonging to Jesus together means we are responsible to one another.
2. Find freedom in surrender to Jesus.