The tax demanded was not any civil payment to the Roman powers but for religious duties. The half shekel payment was required from every person for the service of the temple. This was for defraying expenses associated with worship there. It was called, “a ransom for the soul” (Exodus 30:12). At that time, it was not as strictly demanded as it had been at other times, especially in Galilee.Christ did not declare Himself as the Son of Man only but also as the Son of God during the case of the temple tax. He was not forced to pay a tax for the house of His heavenly Father, because all that God had, He had. But his love for His enemies and His mercy for their weakness prompted Him to pay the tax willingly. He bound Himself with Peter and the other disciples, and He called them, “God’s free sons,” as mentioned several times in the Gospel of Matthew. Do you cling, dear brother, to this title and this promise and stand with God’s sons, not because of your goodness, but because you believed in Jesus’ word? His powerful word will sanctify you to the uttermost, that you will become what God calls you to become.Christian prudence and humility teach us, in many cases, to give up our right rather than give offence by insisting upon it. We must never decline our duty for fear of giving offence, but we must sometimes deny ourselves in that which is our secular interest, rather than give offence.