SCRIPTURE COMMENTARY # 320
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received the half–shekel came to Peter, and said, "Doth not your master pay the half–shekel?" He saith, "Yea." And when he came into the house, Jesus spake first to him, saying, "What thinkest thou, Simon? the kings of the earth, from whom do they receive toll or tribute? from their sons, or from strangers?" And when he said, "From strangers," Jesus said unto him, "Therefore the sons are free. But, lest we cause them to stumble, go thou to the sea, and cast a hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a shekel: that take, and give unto them for me and thee." (Matt. 17:24-27)
AVOIDING OF SCANDAL: Our Lord's example shows us that we must avoid even the appearance of giving a bad example. He would have been quite justified in refusing to pay the Temple tax, but He did not refuse lest He should scandalize the weak and ignorant.
[From 'A Practical Commentary on Holy Scripture' by Bishop Knecht, D.D.]
(1899 Douay-Rheims Bible)