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5k Every Day in the Month of May 2017 (Day 6)

I woke up this morning at 8am. I am starting to see a bit of an unhealthy pattern developing.

Thankfully, no one was waiting on me to meet them for a morning run (like yesterday), but I don’t usually sleep in that late. Admittedly, it was a glorious sleep-in. The extra hours of sleep were probably extra helpful since I was not able to fall asleep until a little after 2am. I don’t yet feel like I am quite back to normal after being in Colorado for a week.

I had a great (late) morning. I drank a cup of coffee, read the daily Bible reading (Matthew 16-18), and then went out to mow my sopping wet, way-too-long grass. That was a task. Ah… the joys of being out of town for a week.

I was able to get my 3.1 miles in around noon. I got to run with my buddy, Broc. Good times! We were actually able to get a little more than a 5k. We had about an hour to fill, so we made it 7.2 miles in 52 minutes and 23 seconds. That is an average pace of 7:12 per mile. It wasn’t the Rocky Mountains, but we still saw a little over 450 feet of elevation gain in a little over 7 miles. Breathing was definitely easier at 1,200 feet than it was at 9,200!

There was so much to love from today’s Bible reading. For some reason, I love reading about the transfiguration. That whole scenario is just so cool. Oh to be a witness up there on the mountain!

Of course, I am also always blown away by the words of Jesus at the end of chapter 16:

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.” – Matthew 16:24-27

Wow. That is pretty straightforward.

My favorite part of today’s reading, though, comes from Matthew 17. It is a fairly obscure passage:

When they came to Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax went up to Peter and said, “Does your teacher not pay the tax?” He said, “Yes.” And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tax? From their sons or from others?” And when he said, “From others,” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are free. However, not to give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook and take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for me and for yourself.” – Matthew 17:24-27

Why does this stand out to me so much? Obviously it is super cool that Jesus is able to send Peter off to gather a coin from the mouth of a fish. So cool.

But I’m seeing something else in this passage. I see Jesus as a Youth Pastor!

What?! How did I get that?!

Let’s quickly head back to Exodus to get an understanding of this “Temple Tax”:

Each one who is numbered in the census shall give this: half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary (the shekel is twenty gerahs), half a shekel as an offering to the LORD. Everyone who is numbered in the census, from twenty years old and upward, shall give the LORD’s offering. – Exodus 30:13-14

Do you see it?

The Temple Tax is half a shekel each (one for Peter and one for Jesus). That much is plain in Matthew 17:27. This passage seems to indicate that ONLY Peter and Jesus were required to pay the temple tax… which means… that only Peter and Jesus were “twenty years old and upward” (see Exodus 30:14).

This tells me that Jesus was essentially a Youth Pastor, with one adult leader (Peter), and eleven teenagers in his youth group (and one of those teenagers was a really bad student)! With that one adult leader and eleven students, Jesus was able to change the world!

I spent nearly 10 years as a Youth Pastor. I never saw that position as a “stepping stone” into “real ministry”. I saw myself as walking in the footprints of Jesus! Admittedly, I was not nearly as good or effective at it as Jesus was, but it was a real privilege and an honor to follow in his footsteps.

This passage reminds me of the priorities and plan of God. He is in the business of using the least, the lowly, the overlooked, the most unlikely, and empowering them to do something amazing to the glory of God!!

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16 thoughts on “5k Every Day in the Month of May 2017 (Day 6) Leave a comment

  1. Got my run in…taking it slow. Love how Jesus is so blunt. He doesn’t beat around the bush. He tells it how it is with no apologies.

    • Haha. Truth!! I often wonder if Jesus would make it today as a “Pastor” in the American church…

      Way to go, getting your run in. You are rocking it!!!

  2. I forgot to comment yesterday, but days 5 and 6 are in the books. Yay! There was a lot in today’s three chapters, like every other day. I always get excited when I read in Matthew 16 about taking up my cross and following Jesus. It may not be the most pleasant journey here on earth, but the reward is so great it’s worth it.

  3. I was given a free ticket to run in the Breitenbach Dandelion 5k so ran that this morning. I survived another day of a 5k.

    The boy being healed by Jesus from demons stuck out to me. It was interesting to me how the disciples were given the power to heal but they couldn’t this one because of there faith. One of my favorite books of the Bible is James and at the end of James it talks about the prayer of the faith will heal the one who is sick. It’s been a interesting verse to wrestle through in life.
    The other part that stuck out was paying the temple tax and how Jesus told them to take the first fist they catch and open its mouth and they will find a shekel. Maybe it’s my American mind set and fast pace life style but I have to think why? Jesus could have just reached in his pocket or the disciples could have reached in there pocket and pulled the money out but why through a fish? The other thing I wonder is why the first one? How many did they catch? If they were using nets how do you see the first one? So lots of questions. But at the end of those questions all I know is God is all powerful and God is good.

  4. We got our run in this morning in 25:12 (8:08 average). Jeff, I love the part of the scripture you pointed out. I have read Mathew multiple times, but the part about the shekel in the mouth of the fish never stuck out to me until we heard it in church. It was brought to my attention that some scholars think that by saying what He did Jesus meant go catch a fish and sell it in order to make a shekel for the tax. I know I have a God who can make a shekel appear in the mouth of a fish, and I believe that is what happened, but it was an interesting interpretation.

    • Good run! That is an interesting interpretation of what sure seems straightforward to me… I have heard some strange interpretations, myself, thoughout the years. I’m not sure why some people have such a hard time with just reading and accepting the text. Thanks for your input!

  5. Hey buddy, I’m still in here! 20.9 trail miles in the National Park with Poper. Mud and standing water on basically every step and we even climbed a few of the biggies at the Boston Mills Ski Resort just to get the elevation up there. Time for bed. 🙂

  6. I ran 6.2 miles For His Glory (the name of the 10k). I am looking forward to slower miles tomorrow.

    In today’s reading I was intrigued by Peter being admonished for rebuking Jesus when he predicted his death. He seemed to want Jesus to be a powerful king who would crush the enemy. While Jesus was that, it wasn’t in the way he expected. I wonder what preconceived expectations I have of Him that hinder me from seeing who He is and what He’s doing in my life.

  7. Got my first outside 5K May done with Randy. On the first and second miles, the wind was against us. As I was huffing and puffing thru those miles ( and wishing that Randy would at least pretend to be struggling as well 😉), I was thinking how this just seems like my life so often. I get tired of making that next step, I get tired of the things that just make life harder, I just want to quit sometimes. I have no real insight to add to that – ha! But then we reached the place we would turn around to go back home and the struggle diminished. And that is the moment when I knew….I would make it home running. And I guess life is like that too. Sometimes God’s peace and hope feels so close, that I rest in the fact that I am going to make it home someday. I am thankful for a God who didn’t sugarcoat life, but warned us of suffering….who tasted hardship and death and conquered it…who made it home and yet is coming back for us. That gives me hope as I think of Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith, who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross, scorning it’s shame and is seated at the right hand of God.

    I loved your insights into the passages today! So many things I never noticed or put enough thought into. The thing that stuck out to me was where He said we must become like little children to enter the kingdom of heaven. I love how He chose the lowly and said, “This. This is what you must become to enter My kingdom.”

    I think Randy said our 5K time was 30:14 and pace of around 9:39? Something like that. Too tired to check!

  8. Mostly a walk today, but enjoyed a beautiful sunset. My thoughts were on the disciples today especially when Jesus seems to be upset because of there lack of faith in driving out a demon. As a parent off teenagers, that sometimes just don’t get it, I can better understand Jesus’ response. But then I don’t always get it either.

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