Prudent Compliance

John Tilton


Matthew 17:24-27

After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma temple tax came to Peter and asked, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?” “Yes, he does,” he replied. When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. “What do you think, Simon?” he asked. “From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes—from their own children or from others?” “From others,” Peter answered. “Then the children are exempt,” Jesus said to him. “But so that we may not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.”


Jesus’ lesson to Peter exampled the matter of doing what would be right as a witness to others even though collecting the temple tax from Jesus would seem ironic based on the question Jesus asked about on whether taxes are collected from the children of rulers, where it is early Kings or the one and only King. What was interesting is that Jesus called Peter by his prior name … Simon. I thought that his reference had an importance as it seemed that Jesus was sending Peter a message to think carefully before he spoke by referring to his prior name.


This scenario speaks to be in how we in our lives or as leaders at New Hope Oahu need to be wise in our decisions in matters outside the church in relation to government agencies and authority. Although we enjoy non-profit status and other non-profit considerations, it is so important that we keep abreast of current changing regulations, laws and codes that come before us. We’ve already seen and experienced how laws can and do affect us as we were sued on our school use for weekend services, and how expectations are being put upon us by government agencies about serving the homeless. I believe like Jesus taught and exampled, that we need to be wise and prudent in our compliance. We will often need to example the heart of Christ in a helping hand, but also discernment when we are being pressed upon unfairly.


Dear Lord, please grant and give me wisdom in prudent compliance so that in my life and as a church we can be prudently compliant in matters of regulations, laws and codes, exampling your heart always, but also not falling to undue pressure as the end times draw near, where your Word states that believers will be oppressed and persecuted.

Devotions for November 24

Matthew 17,18,19

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