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Women World Leaders' Podcast

Jun 29, 2022

We can learn a lot from a fish! It’s not odd that Jesus provided for Peter, the fisherman, through a fish. But, come on! The details of the plan WERE a bit crazy! Together, let’s discover what God has to teach us today as we study Matthew 17:22-27, Mark 9:30-32, and Luke 9:43-45.


Welcome to Walking in the Word, the biblical teaching arm of the Women World Leaders’ podcast. My name is Julie Jenkins, and I am so happy you are with us!

If you are new to the podcast, please know that we bring you a new edition of the podcast every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

You’ve happened on our Wednesday Edition, Walking in the Word, where we take time to study God’s Word together verse by verse, unpacking what it is that He has for us today. We are currently walking through the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

On Fridays, our team of leaders hosts Celebrating God’s Grace, where they showcase God’s glory in ministry, health, marriage, and everyday life!

And on Mondays, Kimberly Hobbs hosts Empowering Lives with Purpose, a 30-minute interview with a different woman of faith who shares her story with the intent of inspiring you to walk in your God-given purpose. If you are new to the podcast, I encourage you to listen to some of our previous podcasts. You will be awed as you see that sometimes God calls us to climb a literal mountain, like Tina Rains, and other times He meets us when we are thrown into the literal fire, like Justina Page. Sometimes He calls us to do something unexpected for Him, like Tina Kadolph, and sometimes He pulls us out of unimaginable circumstances, like Dana Cryer. One thing the stories of these women all have in common is that our amazing God, who has dominion over even the birds of the air and the fish of the sea, will always provide all that His children need. We can trust Him!

The world encourages us to compete with each other and even beat each other down as we climb toward our dreams. But we here at Women World Leaders follow God’s call to help raise each other up in His name. That’s why we exist – to meet you where you are and to empower you on your walk. Because we know that God calls us ALL to lead for HIS cause, we know that the more we can equip leaders, the more we can do together to bring others to Him. So we invite you to join us! You can find out more about the ministry at

As we study today, we will be looking at Matthew 17:22-27, Mark 9:30-32, and Luke 9:43-45. Before we begin, let’s pray.

Dear Most Holy God, we give you this precious time. Father, we thank you for your wisdom and guidance given us in black and white in your Word, and we thank you for sending your Holy Spirit to allow us to interpret and understand all that you want us to know. Holy Spirit, we lean into you, and trust you to teach us exactly what it is you want us to know today. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen

As we have followed Jesus’ life, we have seen the disciples learn and grow, and we’ve also seen them fail. Despite this Jesus never stops loving and guiding them and He never stops revealing more and more about Himself. Sometimes they listen. Sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they learn and sometimes they mess up. Does that sound familiar to you? It sure does to me!

We have already heard Jesus tell His disciples that He will be killed and then resurrected, and today we hear Him repeat that, because it seems the disciples didn’t get it the first time. Let’s begin by reading from Mark chapter 9, beginning in verse 30 from the New Living Translation, where it is emphasized that Jesus was not holding back this important information from His disciples…in fact, He was trying to block out all distractions so that they would really hear what He was saying…

30 Leaving that region, they traveled through Galilee. Jesus didn’t want anyone to know he was there, 31 for he wanted to spend more time with his disciples and teach them. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of his enemies. He will be killed, but three days later he will rise from the dead.” Then Mark records… 32 They didn’t understand what he was saying, however, and they were afraid to ask him

It seems each of the gospel writers remembering this event reports from His own personal point of view. Luke agrees that the disciples were afraid, but he records…

…they didn’t know what he meant. Its significance was hidden from them, so they couldn’t understand it, and they were afraid to ask him about it.

While Matthew records simply…

…the disciples were filled with grief.

We all have different reactions and emotions associated with truth and events, don’t we?

Emotions aren’t wrong. Emotions just are. They are beautiful, devastating, painful, and exhilarating. Emotions are complex, and sometimes difficult to understand.

Emotions aren’t righteous or sinful. Though what we do in response to our emotions CAN be righteous or sinful. So God calls us to process – to go to Him seeking wisdom. He wants us to step away from the noise and spend time with Him, just as He did with His disciples. Proverbs 3:5 tells us to trust in the LORD, and to not lean on our OWN understanding.

Psalm 37:7-8 tells us to be still in the presence of the Lord and control our anger, which, uncontrolled can lead to harm.

In this day filled with issues and strife – and social media – being still in God’s presence and trusting His control is something we should each do every day. We have the ability to choose our actions despite our emotions and what is happening around us.

At times, God calls us to step out and speak with wisdom and care; and to do so we may need to push beyond our fear.

Other times, God calls us to be silent; and to do that we may have to overcome our anger and trust God’s control of the situation.

Just like the disciples, devout Christians will experience different emotions triggered by the same situation. This may be even more true when it comes to topics that are headlining the news today. Let’s not forget, even as our emotions rise, that God calls us first to be still in His presence, to ask for His wisdom, to listen to His words, and then, above all, to react in love.

Matthew 17:22 continues…

24 On their arrival in Capernaum, the collectors of the Temple tax[a] came to Peter and asked him, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the Temple tax?”

25 “Yes, he does,” Peter replied. Then he went into the house.

The temple tax was a bit controversial. Moses originally ordered this tax as is recorded in Exodus 30:11-16, but the controversy was whether this tax was to be paid every year or once during a man’s lifetime, and who was exempt from paying – namely the rabbis and the priests. Different groups followed different teachings on the matter. So the collector may have been not just trying to collect the tax, but trying to entrap Jesus, to see what He claimed about Himself and where His loyalties lied.

Peter replied, ‘Yes, my teacher pays the tax.’ What Peter really knew to be true regarding Jesus and the tax is up for debate, but it seems he answered without thinking or without having complete knowledge or perhaps to keep Jesus from being entrapped.

What I love here is that Jesus didn’t call out Peter. Although we don’t understand Peter’s heart, we can be sure that Jesus did – and Jesus COULD have called Peter out for not being truthful, whatever the reason. But instead, Jesus approached Peter with a question…verse 25…

But before he had a chance to speak, Jesus asked him, “What do you think, Peter?[b] Do kings tax their own people or the people they have conquered?[c]

26 “They tax the people they have conquered,” Peter replied.

“Well, then,” Jesus said, “the citizens are free!

Other translations record this question as “From whom do the kings of the earth take customs or taxes, from their sons or from strangers?” To which Peter replies, “From strangers.” And Jesus makes the point that sons do not pay taxes.

Whether the analogy is about sons or citizens, it is clear that by this analogy, Jesus is proclaiming Himself as God, saying that the temple tax due to God, need not be paid by God Himself.

But then Jesus says something we should all take to heart…verse 27…

 27 However, we don’t want to offend them,

Jesus…the Son of God…did something He was NOT required to do by any law, because He didn’t want to offend someone else, causing an issue that could detract from His purpose.

My mom used to warn me to not make a mountain out of a molehill. There is a once-popular book titled, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff. The devil wants to put stumbling blocks in our way to keep us from walking in the purpose that God has for us. He wants us to fixate on things that are unimportant to keep us from getting to the important work that God has ordained for us.

Sometimes, it can be difficult to distinguish between the mountain and the molehill – that is, again, where we need to be still in God’s presence, and ask Him for wisdom. And then we are to trust Him as He leads, guides, and provides, because He always will! Jesus gave Peter instructions…

…go down to the lake and throw in a line. Open the mouth of the first fish you catch, and you will find a large silver coin.[d] Take it and pay the tax for both of us.”

Ok…let’s break this down...

First…Jesus, the Son of God, who didn’t NEED to pay the temple tax, didn’t even have a half-shekel – equal to about 2 day’s wages – to pay the tax. BUT He didn’t want to take anyone’s focus off what He was there to do, so He provided for Peter, who spoke out of turn, to FIND a coin that would be the perfect amount to pay both their tax.

So…Jesus tells Peter to use His gifting in a most unusual way. Remember, Peter was a fisherman. He knew that the best way to catch fish was with a net, which could bring in MANY fish at one time. But instead, Jesus tells Peter to use a line and a hook – cutting out Peter’s chances of catching many fish, and giving him the opportunity to catch just one, single fish.

Then, Jesus tells Peter to take that fish, open it’s mouth, and there will be a silver coin. The perfect payment for the tax for both men.

Now, we know that God is sovereign. He has complete control over all creation. So think about the plan that He had already been working on. Someone had to earn that coin. Then, he had to be walking by the water or fishing on the water when he lost that coin. He may have jumped after it – it was 4 days’ wages. But somehow, the silver coin sunk to the bottom where the light could no longer glisten off it. THEN, a fish had to come along – likely a bottom-feeder, hungry and looking for food, and scoop up the coin with its mouth, but not swallow it. Somehow it got stuck in his mouth. It wouldn’t go down and it wouldn’t come out. I wonder how long the fish swam around with the coin in it’s mouth. But then, this bottom-feeder saw a small morsel, a piece of bait in reality, floating in the water, and decided it would try a little something different. So the bottom-feeder goes after the floating delicacy, opening its mouth wide enough to be snagged by the hook, but not lose the coin. And then Peter pulls up the line, and wallah! Jesus made Peter’s unthinking response – Yes, my teacher pays the tax – truth.

This is a short Bible story that teaches us so much! It teaches us that…

Jesus loves us! He goes out of His way to make the absurd possible for our protection.

Jesus guides us! He will always give us the direction we should go, if we are still in His presence and ask for His wisdom.

Jesus provides for us! He supplies for our needs, sometimes in the most unexpected ways. But often, He asks us to use our gifts and abilities, just like He asked Peter, the fisherman, to fish.

Jesus wants us to trust Him! We don’t need to make a scene with every grievance we encounter. We don’t need to worry and take control of all that is going on around us. Instead, we can rest in God’s presence, asking for His wisdom about what we are called to do, and then focusing on making intentional choices that will not offend others and inadvertently push THEM off the path that God has created for them.

God has a plan and purpose for your life – and Jesus is with you every step of the way to ensure that you arrive safely. Your responsibility is to listen to Him, to trust His wisdom, protection, and provision, and to obey obediently. God doesn’t do things haphazardly – but He orchestrates all creation to degree that we can’t even begin to imagine!

Let’s pray…

Dear Heavenly Father – we submit our plans to you, knowing that YOUR plans are better. And God we thank you! Although we make mistakes along the way, you never stop leading us and instructing us in the way we should go. We thank you that you have been working since the beginning of time to bring all your children home, and we thank you that you are allowing us to partner with you in that endeavor. Give us the courage to obediently walk where you call us and do EXACTLY what you call us to do – trusting your care, provision, protection, wisdom, and guidance. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.