Matthew, Chapter 17

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Jesus Preaches Compliance to the Caesar’s Authority

24And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? 25He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? 26Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. 27Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.(Matthew 17:24-27)

Tax collectors come to Capernaum and ask Peter whether Jesus is willing to pay taxes. His answer is one of compliance. Jesus clarifies that although, in principle, he shouldn’t pay taxes to the Romans, he will do so in order to avoid conflict. Jesus then sends Peter to draw a fish from the Sea of Galilee. When Peter catches it, he finds a coin inside the fish’s mouth worth four drachmas, exactly what is needed to pay the tax collector. Jesus doesn’t seek confrontation with the Romans, nor does he condone any form of violence or rebellion. His message is completely peaceful. He submissively tolerates their presence and lovingly accepts it for all its virtues and imperfections. Gratitude must always prevail. Our duty in this world is to be optimistic and cooperate with those around us by highlighting what unites us, rather than what differentiates us. 

Affability is recognizing that all of creation is good, enabling us to enjoy life and the people around us.