Rule 4: Follow the rules
An interesting moment in JESUS’ life serves as the backdrop of today’s recharge. JESUS and Peter were in Capernaum, and some officials asked JESUS to pay the temple fee. This fee, although not strictly enforced at this time, was a ransom for the soul (see Exodus 30:12-16), and it was used to offset the expenses of worship in the temple. JESUS could have dismissed the fee for two good reasons: (1) HE was sinless (no need for ransom) and (2) HE is GOD’S SON (GOD owns the temple). Interestingly (and definitely intentionally), however, JESUS paid the fee, and even gave enough to cover Peter’s fee as well!
JESUS’ actions are a glaring reminder: we’re not above the laws of the land. But sometimes, we feel otherwise: we consciously break rules and even justify our disobedience. Have you ever drove above the posted speed limit because everyone else was? Have you ever browsed the Internet, checked personal emails, or used company products for personal reasons? Have you ever parked in an unauthorized space because you didn’t feel like walking far, or you’d only be in the building for a second? Maybe you’ve gone to the express checkout line with more than 10 items in your cart. Let’s face it – we’re not angels when it comes to obeying the rules.
Although we’re not of this world, we’re required to abide lawfully in this world. That’s why Paul said, “Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything you do. Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. Serve them sincerely because of your reverent fear of the Lord” (Colossians 3:22, New Living Translation). Better, he said, “… For a day of anger is coming, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. He will judge everyone according to what they have done” (Romans 2:5-6, New Living Translation). Make sure you follow the rules – civic and moral!