Summary: A sermon on the miracle of the coin in the fish’s mouth (Outline adapted from Maclaren’s Expositions of Holy Scripture and portions taken from "Peter’s Biggest Fish Story" by Ted Sutherland)

Sermon for 8/3/2003

Matthew 17:24-27


False gospels that are not in the New Testament for good reason. One tells of lions and panthers that worshipped baby Jesus and showed Mary and Joseph the way to Egypt and protected them as they came back to Nazareth. The Infancy Gospel of Thomas contains fables about Jesus performing miracles when he was boy, such as breathing life into clay birds that He had made, or that He spoke at the time of His birth, or that He could tell what was in the hearts of other children, or that He brought down tables of food from heaven. It also says that he was mean to his parents and performed miracles to keep them in fear of him.


A. The miracles just for his disciples

B. The miracle of the fig tree.

C. The miracle of his transfiguration.

D. The miracle of Jesus walking on the water.

E. Here we have the miracle of the coin in the fish’s mouth.

Thesis: We are going to look at 3 lessons from this miracle in Matthew 17.

For instances:

1. The freedom of the Son

A. Jesus was a Rabbi. Many of them considered themselves to be exempt. Like a priest.

B. He uses a parable here about the sons of Kings

C. Jesus is the Son of God

D. The temple tax; Not under compulsion (What you give to this church is between you and God)

E. Exodus 30

1. An atonement or ransom for the soul

2. Devoted to the tabernacle (temple) and its worship

F. Jesus Christ claims to have no need of a ransom for His soul.

1. Perfect Man

2. We cannot buy our way into heaven. Once knew of a woman who was the town newspaper. She paid the church’s water bill. I don’t know why, she never attended church, maybe she thought that she could buy her way.

3. (1 Pet 1:18 NIV) For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers,(1 Pet 1:19 NIV) but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

4. (1 John 3:5 NIV) But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin.

G. The Son of God has no need for the temple or its worship.

1. His whole life, as human, was a life of communion and prayer with His Father in heaven.

a. (Mat 12:6 NIV) I tell you that one greater than the temple is here.

b. The dwelling place of God; the place of His presence.

c. The place of sacrifice

d. The meeting place of man with God

2. This is what our lives are to be. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit; the temple of the Living God.

H. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.

2. The Voluntary Submission of the Son

A. Lest we offend them

B. Christ laid aside His rights as a Son.

C. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.

D. (Heb 2:14 NIV) Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death--that is, the devil--(Heb 2:15 NIV) and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.

E. (Phil 2:6 NIV) Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,(Phil 2:7 NIV) but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.(Phil 2:8 NIV) And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross!

F. Why was Christ baptized?

G. Give up our rights. (Phil 2:3 NIV) Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.(Phil 2:4 NIV) Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.(Phil 2:5 NIV) Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

H. Bill Hybels- Descending into Greatness- Down is a word for losers. UP is a word for winners. Philippians 2 may be the most countercultural chapter in the Bible. Simply stated, the message of Philippians is this: If you want to be truly great, then the direction you must go is down. Greatness is not a measure of self-will, but rather self-abandonment. The more you lose, the more you gain. God says, ‘Lose your selfish ambition; I will honor you for loving others. Lose you addiction to things; I will provide for you if you seek Me wholeheartedly. Lose your obsession to be in control; I will give you power as you follow me. Lose you appetite for thrills; I will startle you with pleasures you could never have found on your own. Lose your life; I will give you eternity.”

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