Bible Reading – Exodus 30; Matthew 17:24-27 Exodus 30:12 KJV When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their number, then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the Lord, when thou numberest them; that there be no plague among them, when thou numberest them.
The ransom of the soul was a tribute given to provide for the needs of the tabernacle. God, in His wisdom and foreknowledge, placed a priority on the place of worship, knowing that if the children of Israel grew distant from the place of worship, they would grow distant from God. If they grew distant from God and served false gods, judgment and plagues would be necessary mercies to get them back to God, understanding that spiritual health is the eternal priority. If one generation drifted off course, the repercussions for their children and grandchildren could be spiritually and eternally devastating. Every adult was to give the same set amount, and it was something that everyone could do.
We find a reference to this ransom of the soul or tribute in Matthew 17:24-27. The disciples were asked if Jesus paid this tribute, to which they answered the affirmative.
First we can see that, just as salvation is a personal decision, each person had to personally decide to obey. It is also to be noticed that the as the cost of sin is the same for all, so also is the price here the same for each person! The price was not a moving target based on the goodness or wickedness or wealth of a person. And salvation is not based on a scale of goodness or wickedness but rather on what someone does with Christ!
Thirdly, in both Exodus and Matthew, the children did not have to pay. Christ tells Peter that the children are free. No tribute is required of the children! A common theme preacher has discussed this year is that once we are saved, we do not have a debt looming over us. We have the privilege to serve Christ out of a pure heart of love and not out of debt or guilt!
Finally I see that Christ paid the debt. At the end of Matthew 17:27, we notice that Christ, in a miraculous way, paid for Peter. And I am so thankful that Christ did for me what I could not for myself do! We serve a wonderful Saviour Who made His plan of salvation so abundantly evident throughout Scripture! We are blessed indeed!
— Eli Faulds