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Main Page The great Gospel of John Volume 5 GGJ05-243 Chapter

Chapter 243 - Peter and the tax collector.

243,1. With other conversations of the same type, through which the disciples came out of their worry, we came into the area of Capernaum. And there was a toll booth; this stood near to the Sea of Galilee and demanded from everyone the road toll.

243,2. Therefore the tax-collector, to whom we were very well-known, went to Peter and said, “Does your teacher not pay the tribute money?” (Mt.17:24)

243,3. And Peter answered, “Oh yes, if anyone demands it of Him; but firstly we are no foreigners who alone have to pay the tax according to the law, and secondly none of us, including the Master, has any money. You know that there on the sea, hardly two hundred steps from here, is my house. We are now going there and will certainly spend some days there, and I will bring you over the tribute money straightaway.”

243,4. Then the tax-collector spoke. “There is no hurry with it; except for your master, who is no citizen of Capernaum, the rest of you are free, because you are locals.”

243,5. At this decision we then went home to Peter’s house, and when we were there, I asked the disciples and said, “What do you think now, Simon Peter? From whom do the kings of the Earth collect customs or poll-tax? From their sons or, as I well know, only from strangers?” (Mt.17:25)

243,6. Peter said, “As I have just dealt with the tax-collector at the customs house – only from strangers!”

243,7. Then I said further, “Thus we as children are free! (Mt.17:26) But so that we will not annoy these greedy people, and since you according to the affirmation of your family members possess not a penny of money in the house, take a strong hook, go down to the sea and throw the hook, and the first fish that you catch, take it in; and when you open its mouth, you will find a Stator in it (two-drachma coin)! Take it, bring it here and give it to the tax-collector for Me and you!” (Mt.17:27)

243,8. Peter now immediately did as I had ordered. And behold, a seven-pound salmon caught the hook, brought the Stator – and us a good meal; for this type of fish are the best and healthiest of a lake. When Peter returned from the customs house, he said that the tax-collector refused to accept the whole Stator, but only wanted to accept half. However, he, Peter, had reassured him that all twelve of them had travelled as far as the Master alone. The tax-collector found that well-reckoned and finally accepted the whole Stator.

243,9. But I said, “Well, just have the fish prepared, and we’ll let the tax-collector be who he is!”

243,10. But James asked Me how the Stator had got into the fish’s mouth.

243,11. And I said, “The Romans from Capernaum occupied themselves by throwing drachma into the water for their ship’s boys who could swim, and these then fetched them out again. But our salmon snapped this one up and chewed it for a time. But since the metal would not be chewed nor swallowed, it remained stuck in the fish’s mouth and Peter caught exactly the same hungry salmon all the easier because it was very hungry. The miracle for man is only that I knew about it. But now see that we are served wine and bread and in addition the fish!”

243,12. Everyone hurried there now to fetch what had been demanded. The wine of course had to be manufactured in the familiar, miraculous way. Very soon everything was ready and we sat down at the table.

Main Page The great Gospel of John Volume 5 GGJ05-243 Chapter