God often reveals His Kingdom and Himself through questions.
When they arrived a Capernaum, the tax men came to Peter and asked, “Does your teacher pay taxes?” Peter said, “Of course.” But as soon as they were in the house, Jesus confronted him. “Simon, what do you think? When the king levies taxes, who pays – his children or his subjects?” He answered, “His subjects.” Jesus said, “Then the children get off free, right? But so we don’t upset them needlessly, go down to the lake, cast a hook, and pull in the first fish that bites. Open its mouth and you’ll find a coin. Take it and give it to the tax men. It will be enough for the both of us.” Matthew 17:24-27
There are times in all of our lives when we presume to know what God is thinking, and we speak with supposed authority about Him. He then asks us questions that lead us into a deeper knowing of who He is. He further increases our understanding of his Kingdom with little acts of generous love.
Peter, as was Peter’s tendency, occasionally spoke for Jesus without first inquiring about the Lord’s thoughts on a matter. And Jesus, in his love for Peter, usually asked him questions to increase his understanding of how the Kingdom of God works within the natural world Peter understood. Jesus’ question to Peter, “Who do men say that I am?” opened Peter to the revelation from the Father that Jesus was the long-expected messiah. On the shore of the Sea of Tiberias and in a redeeming act of deep love, Jesus asks three times, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” From the questions Peter sheds the pain of his betrayal by receiving the Kingdom gift of Jesus’ forgiveness.
This event in Capernaum points to a Kingdom reality that the children of the King have freedoms of inheritance that those who are strangers to the Kingdom do not have. Nonetheless as children, we can use our freedoms to serve the strangers. Even more in our service, we have access to God’s generous provision through our natural gifts and talents. Peter knew how to catch fish, but he probably had never paid his taxes with a silver coin taken from a fish’s mouth. The supernatural provision shows up in the natural activities of life.
We have rich inheritance as sons and daughters of the King whose Kingdom has come to earth as it is in heaven. We have the freedom to approach God and ask Him for anything. We should expect that He might have a question or two for us.
Lord Jesus, I ask today that you search, know, and test my heart to help me see more clearly your Kingdom come to earth. As you guided Peter with your questions, ask them of me as well.