24 When they had come to Capernaum, those who received the temple tax came to Peter and said, “Does your Teacher not pay the temple tax?” 25 He said, “Yes.” And when he had come into the house, Jesus anticipated him, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take customs or taxes, from their sons or from strangers?” 26 Peter said to Him, “From strangers.” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are free. 27 Nevertheless, lest we offend them, go to the sea, cast in a hook, and take the fish that comes up first. And when you have opened its mouth, you will find a piece of money; take that and give it to them for Me and you.”
I'd like some of you to consider something. When Jesus asked Peter about taxes being paid to the kings of the earth, was Jesus talking about the kings of the entire world? Or was He talking about Israel?
Well given the context, He was talking about Israel. The tax Jesus was questioning was the temple tax which is used for up keeping the temple. Now when He stated, "the sons are free", he wasn't talking about the son of all kings. He's talking about the "Priests" who are generally called "Sons of God". Jesus was giving a hint that He, who was to serve as a High Priest, should have been exempt, but so as NOT to offend them, He complies.
Thus, the kings of the earth Jesus was talking about is not the general kings of the entire world, but the kings of the land/earth of Israel. According to Jewish tradition, taxes were collected from all males throughout Israel, in order to provide money for the Priests and the temple services, as well as its upkeep. (Refer to Numbers chapter 3 and 4). The only ones exempt from paying the temple taxes were the "sons", or the "Priests". Jesus was hinting to Peter as His Priesthood, as the "Son of God". Back up to verses 1-11 and we see after the Transfiguration that Peter acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah; the Son of God. And "sons" are supposed to be exempt from paying taxes to the kings of Israel (the earth).
Now why did I bring this up? This has to do with Revelation with the phrase, "Kings of the earth".
Do I dare dive back into this discussion?
Richard or James, any thoughts?