What on Earth?
My God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
When Andrew Cheatle lost his cell phone at the beach, he thought it was gone forever. About a week later, however, fisherman Glen Kerley called him. He had pulled Cheatle’s phone, still functional after it dried, out of a 25-pound cod.
Life is full of odd stories, and we find more than a few of them in the Bible. One day tax collectors came to Peter demanding to know, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?” (Matt. 17:24). Jesus turned the situation into a teaching moment. He wanted Peter to understand His role as king. Taxes weren’t collected from the children of the king, and the Lord made it clear that neither He nor His children owed any temple tax (vv. 25–26).
Yet Jesus wanted to be careful not to “cause offense” (v. 27), so He told Peter to go fishing. (This is the odd part of the story.) Peter found a coin in the mouth of the first fish he caught.
What on earth is Jesus doing here? A better question is, “What in God’s kingdom is Jesus doing?” He is the rightful King—even when many do not recognize Him as such. When we accept His role as Lord in our lives, we become His children.
Life will still throw its various demands at us, but Jesus will provide for us. As former pastor David Pompo put it, “When we’re fishing for our Father, we can depend on Him for all we need.”
People in Jesus’s day worried over the basic necessities of food, clothing, and shelter just as we do. But Jesus assures us of God’s care and provision by pointing us to His constant providential care for all the earth. Because we are more precious to God than all of creation (Matt. 6:25–30), Jesus reminds us, “Do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ . . . Your heavenly Father knows that you need [these things]” (vv. 31–32). Because we have a heavenly Father who loves and cares for us deeply, we can ask Him to give us what we need (7:9–11; 1 Peter 5:7). Paul encourages us to replace our anxieties with expectant trust and grateful prayer. The peace of God is the inner calm or tranquility that comes from a confident trust in God who hears our cries (Phil. 4:6–7).
In what ways has God provided for you this week?