May 3: The Freedom of Sonship (Matthew 17:22-27)
This Sunday Brandon Jordan will continue a series on theology in the youth room at 9:00am addressing the Lordship of God as foundational for a worldview. Ray Rutledge will be in the Adult 1 classroom continuing through The Gospel Project addressing the sixth of the seven daily sins, anger.
 As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men,  and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.” And they were greatly distressed.
 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.” (ESV)
There is an oft repeated expression that the only two certainties in life are death and taxes. While there are many other certainties (God's sovereignty, love and faithfulness, etc.), these are two that face us throughout life. In our passage, Jesus submitted himself to both for our sake, to earn us freedom as sons and daughters of God. In submitting himself to death, he earned us a freedom from sin and shame that was not free. By submitting himself to taxes, he showed us how to live as free men and women in a world marked by self-interest and self-protection. Jesus shows us how to live with humility, deference to neighbors and a deep freedom that leads to an inexpressible joy.
Review and Apply
- Describe the freedom for the Christian as he looks at the cross and resurrection of Jesus.
- This is Jesus' second prediction of his upcoming death and resurrection. How does this prediction help the Christian find confidence in the faith?
- What was Jesus teaching in saying that he was exempt from this tax?
- How ought the Christian's freedom be expressed in this world?
- What does our freedom teach the world about Jesus?
- Give an example of how you have used your freedom both for the injury and for the benefit of others.