When they had come to Capernaum, those who received the temple tax came to Peter and said, “Does your Teacher not pay the temple tax?” He said, “Yes.” And when he had come into the house, Jesus anticipated him, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take customs or taxes, from their sons or from strangers?” Peter said to Him, “From strangers.” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are free. Nevertheless, lest we offend them, go to the sea, cast in a hook, and take the fish that comes up first. And when you have opened its mouth, you will find a piece of money; take that and give it to them for Me and you.”
Peter answered the question wanting to show the men that he keeps the law and customs. Jesus then makes the point that children of the king were free. Jesus again as always is introducing them to the Kingdom of God on earth. Now they need some money. Notice what Jesus does not tell Peter to do. He does not tell him to go out and get a job; work all week maybe longer; pay the tax and then catch up with the rest of us because we are movin' on. No, he tells him how to collect or gather the money that has already been provided for them. Notice that Peter has to do a few things. He had to walk out, get a line and hook, some bait, and cast it into the sea. Jesus told him to bring in the first fish he gets and inside his mouth will be some money. He doesn't tell him to fish all day and try for a bigger fish or lots of fish and then go sell them for money. The reason this is different than the woman with the pots of oil (read "Got Pot?") is that she needed a huge provision for herself and two sons for a long long time. Jesus and Peter just needed a small amount for a gift. Jesus received a revelation, a word of knowledge as to how to get that money. It was important for Peter to do exactly as Jesus said to get the money.
Once again we see the difference between laboring under the world's system versus operating within the kingdom of God on the earth right now. Faith, revelation, knowledge, obedience are the keys. I believe that when Peter answered the question with a "yes" at that moment the heavenly Father spoke to Jesus and said to him something like this: "Jesus when Peter returns ask him this question...then when he answers send him down to the sea and here's what he is to do." God sent Jesus not only to die for us but to show us how to live as God's children on the earth right now. With Jesus living inside you then heaven touches earth in us and through us. Jesus lived that way, the disciples learned to live that way, Stephen lived that way and so can you. After all God says...
Matthew 7:7-11 Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!