Violence and Money

Read Matthew 17:22-27

It's interesting how often violence and destruction are connected to money in the Bible.  From the beginning, in the commandments, God's people are warned against coveting and the violent results of that particular sin.  If you want someone else's money, then you are not very far from the willingness to take it, and maybe even kill for it.  So don't even go there, says the tenth commandment or you are in danger of violating the eighth commandment and maybe even the sixth commandment.  Be careful with money, say the commandments.

Jesus is certainly aware of these warnings.  Immediately after he warns them of the impending crisis that will be his betrayal and crucifixion, then suddenly they are in the midst of a money conversation. The collectors of the temple tax ask whether or not Jesus pays his taxes.  Simon (not Peter) assures the collectors that Jesus does in fact pay, however Jesus wants to talk further about the matter.

Make sure you understand that you are not people who covet, says Jesus to Peter (not Simon).  Even if those in power in the Temple appear to be doing so.  Because you know that coveting leads to taking from others and taking from others can often lead to violence.  Perhaps they will even be willing to kill for it.

Just to be sure you don't fall into their trap, says Jesus to Peter, go and get what they want you to give them and give it to them.  In that way you are free to live life in the way God intended for it to be lived through the commandments.  In that way, you are saved!


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