Matthew starts a new section with a reminder to the disciples and to us that the destination is Jerusalem and death. And resurrection. But the disciples apparently like the idea of a glorious kingdom more than one bought by suffering, And it seems that the idea of resurrection has not yet registered with them. They are distressed. I feel a little queasy myself, and I know how the story ends.
Then we have a little teaching about taxes, kind of.
Jesus teaches that in the kingdom, the king takes care of his children rather than taxing them.
This temple tax was at least a little controversial. It certainly wasn’t part of the Mosaic law, although there are some parallels to a census tax. Some people just didn’t pay it, as some don’t pay taxes today. Some were conscientious objectors. Some were just lax. And for some, two days’ wages was too much to give up.
In the kingdom, we will give because we want to, not because we have to.
And Jesus gives Peter an object lesson in how God takes care of his children.