How Old Were Jesus’ Disciples? (Matt 17)

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.”

Historically speaking, those who picked-up and followed a Rabbi/Teacher were young teenagers. That also seems to be the case for Jesus’ followers, except for Peter. We know (from Luke) that Jesus began his public ministry at “about 30 years of age” (so mid-30s) and his disciples would have been younger, but this little exchange about the “Temple Tax” gives us more insight. This tax was for those who were 21 and older, and though all the disciples were present, only Peter and Jesus demanded the tax. That means the rest of the disciples were under 21 yet probably over 12, with Peter being older than 21 yet under 30-ish. Does that give you a different picture of the disciples? They were, by our standards, kids… yet, within 3 short years, they were released to see thousands upon thousands of people come to know Jesus as savior. Millennials are not the church of tomorrow, they are the church of today…

About John Harris

χian, Jesus saves. μιᾶς γυναικὸς ἄνδρα, Pastor at Pleasant Heights, PhD (NT) candidate at Midwestern; forever Texan, μολὼν λαβέ; Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak! Allons-y
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