The incident from Matthew 17:24-27 is used to justify this so-called miracle money manifestation where money is supernaturally credited to bank accounts or miraculously appearing in purses, wallets and pockets.
Is there scriptural support for it? Did Jesus produce miracle money?
Let us look at the incident from Matthew 17:24-27 and let’s break it down. Please first read Matthew 17:24-27 in your Bibles. What does it say?
- First of all, the main point of the incident was Jesus trying to get Peter’s attention about a spiritual matter about the difference of being children and being a slave.
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.
In Galatians 4:1-7 Paul expands on this beautifully.
‘What I am saying is that as long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces of the world. But when the set time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are His sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are His child, God has made you also an heir.’
- Secondly both of them were liable to pay this temple tax. Though Jesus was the Son of God, He was also the Son of Man and He lived His life in compliance with all laws of the land. In order to pay this tax, Jesus instructs Peter to go fish in the lake and the first fish he catches will have a coin in the mouth. The tax was paid for both of them with this coin.
“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.”
- So, was this a miracle of creating a brand new coin that was not in circulation/existence or did Jesus know in advance that this fish had a coin in its mouth? The Word of God very regularly says that God has foreknowledge of all things. The text of the scripture does not say whether it was a new coin miraculously created. Jesus just says, ‘Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four drachma coin.’ ‘you will find’ is what He says to Peter.
Remember that God did not create money. It was man who invented money to help with the transacting of goods and services. In our current economic system, any money created outside of the Central Banking system is called fake money or illegal money. People are sent to jail for it. Will the God of Justice and Righteousness, break the law of a country, and do something that is illegal in the eyes of the world and show Himself as unrighteous? Will Jesus create illegal money? Is that consistent with His Character of Righteousness and Justice as shown in scripture? Some food for thought there.
- Jesus never repeated this miracle. Healings, deliverances, resurrections were repeated many times over. Feeding of the multitudes was repeated too. He fed 5000 once and 4000 another time. The miraculous catch of fish was also done twice for Peter. Why was this money thing never repeated?
The purpose of the coin was to pay the tax. It was not to give Peter any personal pocket money. Jesus clearly told His disciples not to carry any purse or bag when He sent them out (Luke 9:3). Whatever money they had for expenses was held centrally by Judas Iscariot (John 12:6). The women who travelled with them actually supported the ministry of Jesus from their own personal funds (Luke 8:3). This was how Jesus lived. A very simple lifestyle. This was consistent with the message He preached. Jesus did not create miracle money to live. He relied on what others supplied Him with to live.
The message of Jesus was never focused on money. He warned against covetousness/greed (Luke 12:15). He told the rich young ruler who met Him and asked Him about eternal life, to sell all his possessions and give to the poor and come follow Him. He however promised to take care of all our needs and not to worry about our lives in Matthew chapter 6. He warns us in this same chapter that we cannot serve God and money. So, in light of all the scriptural evidence we can conclude that Jesus’ ministry, His life and His message was never money focused. Hence, He did not do anything that caused people to focus on or love money.
- Finally, a majority of the miracles that Jesus did was in a public setting in front of many people. There were also miracles He performed in the midst of a limited number of people. This coin incident did not happen in front of a crowd. This appears to be a private conversation and incident between Him and Peter and possibly a few others since the text says, ‘Jesus was the first to speak’. So, there would have been others present as well. Given the context, there is a vast difference between the miracle money manifestation of today and what scripture says that Jesus did. Today a big show is put in front of people in name of miracle money. Matthew 17:24-27 is being wrongly applied to justify a sign that stimulates the carnal desire of people. How are these people then doing this? Are these people pre-planning, setting up things before hand and performing a grand illusion like magicians? Well there is some evidence for this based on previous incidents in other countries. However, we also know that satan is a master of performing signs and wonders to deceive people. It is also no secret that these African self-proclaimed prophets have connections to the occult and witchcraft. So do not be deceived!