jojo50 - I would agree with you that with Christ's first coming into this world, He humbled Himself and did not place Himself above others. It's true, that IS the practical application we can take away from this text. The point Christ was making to Peter in Matthew 17:24-27 was that, because He was the Son of His Father's house (the temple), by God's law He could have legitimately claimed His exemption from paying the annual Temple Tax as one who would become our high priest / king. Yet to avoid offending those collectors of the half-shekel, He chose to waive His rights and paid the Temple Tax anyway. As you have pointed out, this was similar to His washing the disciples' feet. It was just another example of Christ demonstrating the heart of a servant, voluntarily putting Himself in our shoes and identifying with us.
However, in addition to that practical application of this story, as s1n4m1n is noticing, there is another benefit we can take away from this passage. It is in understanding that terminology Christ used when He gave the label "kings of the earth" to describe the high priests of Israel - the ones authorized to collect the annual Temple Tax. I imagine that most reading this short exchange between Christ and Peter don't ever realize just how critically important that one little-known fact is when it comes to understanding how John's Revelation used the term "kings" and "kings of the earth".
As I have mentioned above, if these "kings of the earth" in Revelation 17:18 were then being reigned over by "that great city" which was Jerusalem, where our Lord was crucified (Revelation 11:8), then the date when Revelation was written MUST have been some time BEFORE the last-serving high priests loyal to Rome were in charge of Jerusalem (around AD 66-67). There were no subsequent legitimate high priests appointed since then, nor will there ever be. God Himself erased the genetic line of Zadok priests when the AD 70 temple was burned, and all genealogical records of the tribes went up in smoke. Without proof of a continual family line going back to Zadok, the line was then "polluted", and excluded from serving. (See the former example of this type of exclusion in Nehemiah 7:63-64 and Ezra 2:61-62.)
In addition, when John said in Revelation 16:14 that he saw 3 unclean spirits going out to gather "the kings of the earth" (the high priests of Israel) AND the kings of the whole habitable world together to do battle, this MUST have been a prophecy that was fulfilled when there were still high priests around to be gathered together - i.e. , BEFORE AD 66 when all of the high priest “kings of the earth” were gathered together and imprisoned in Jerusalem until it’s destruction, as Isaiah 24:21-22 prophesied earlier.
Also, when John said in Revelation 17:1-2 and 18:9 that the "kings of the earth" (the high priests of the land of Israel) had committed fornication with the great whore, Mystery Babylon, that means the HIGH PRIESTHOOD of Israel had committed fornication with Jerusalem, "that great city", by being unfaithful to their mission as the spiritual leaders of the nation of Israel. They had become solely concerned with monetary profits, (remember the "den of thieves" accusation against them), using all possible means to keep their office and financial standing secured under Roman authorization. The Romans were actually the ones who were appointing whomever they chose to fill the position in those days. As a result, the temptation arose to bribe Roman officials in order to earn the high priest appointment - a total corruption of what had once been a sacred role.
Also, when John's vision of the scarlet, wilderness beast carrying the whore in Revelation 17 was explained by the interpreting angel, John was told that the 7 heads on this beast represented not only the 7 geographical mountains that Mystery Babylon / Jerusalem sat upon, but also "7 KINGS" connected with this beast. That means there were 7 men who had been HIGH PRIESTS who were connected with this scarlet wilderness beast. Most significantly, there were exactly 7 men in the immediate family of the House of Annas who served as high priests in those first-century days between AD 6 through AD 63. An eighth member of this family, (Matthias ben Theophilus, grandson of Annas), was that last-serving high priest from AD 65 until AD 66. After that, the Zealots disposed of the succession of high priests by casting lots for an ordinary citizen to be their puppet high priest until the end of AD 70.
Also, a last reference to the "kings of the earth" / high priests of the land of Israel is found in Revelation 19:19. This is where the scarlet wilderness beast with its "kings of the earth" (high priests) and their armies were gathered together to make war with the "King of Kings" and "His army" (the Roman forces who "burned up their city" as foretold in Matthew 22:7). Since this prophecy concerned the "kings of the earth" / the high priests of the land of Israel, then we can know for certain that it MUST have been fulfilled during a season when there were still high priests in existence. That rules out a gathering for these "kings of the earth" in a future fulfillment.
This season of gathering also included the scarlet, wilderness beast and the False prophet being cast while still alive (NOT as resurrected beings) into a lake of fire. Consequently, that means our typical, presumed understanding of the lake of fire needs to be looked into more carefully. The lake of fire isn't hell. It was the "second death" of the city of Jerusalem as Josephus admitted in Wars 6.10.1 - the second time it was burned down in a replica of its first death under the Babylonian invasion - and both times on the same day of the year. The "kings of the earth", a batch of former high priests, were concentrated together in that city, in opposition to the Roman armies that God sent against them before the end of that Old Covenant Age.
It really is amazing what truths open up when we get just one "little-known Bible fact" correctly identified by scripture's terms.
RB - In response to your comment, I take no offense when you voice your opinions so strongly, because I know you to be a thoroughly decent man. You and I may not be in sync on these matters, but I still maintain respect for your courage in vigorously opposing what you firmly believe to be wrong. Please allow me the same privilege. If you disagree with the point I have made above regarding the "kings of the earth" being the high priests of Israel, you will have to offer a definition in its place that aligns with everything else scripture says about the high priest's role in Israel. I am trying to take the whole of scripture as it has spoken about the "kings of the earth", and it bears no resemblance to our modern concept of what a monarch is.
Was Hannah hallucinating in I Samuel 2:10 when she spoke of Israel's "kings" being in existence before King Saul was born? When God made King David His "first-born, higher than the KINGS OF THE EARTH", (meaning the high priesthood), He was making a covenant with David that his Seed, Christ, would endure forever, as well as His throne (Psalms 89:27-29). This "throne of His father David" was given to Christ at His ascension (Acts 2:29-36), when He became the ultimate high priest of all high priests - one that would never die as every other high priest before Christ had died and been replaced (Hebrews 7:22-28). "Kings of the earth" is the term scripture uses to describe high priests - it's quite obvious. And they should NOT be confused with the "kings of the whole world", as Revelation 16:14 makes a clear distinction between these two types of kings.
As to my views on fulfilled prophecy, I have tried in my comments to make it clear where I stand - that God did fulfill all WRITTEN prophecy by AD 70, but that the UNWRITTEN prophecy the 7 thunders uttered in John's vision was SEALED UP at that time. The sealing of those utterances in Revelation 10:4, while the Old Covenant Age was "ready to pass away" (Hebrews 8:13), meant that they would be applicable to the New Covenant Age we are currently living in - that there was something intended prophetically for the age following AD 70, even though these prophecies were never spelled out in detail.
You may not have caught my comments regarding future trials and judgments on our current generation, but I have tried to be quite blunt about just how long I believe this world has before God will send judgments upon it. I know your world chronology differs from mine, RB, but I believe that by 2033, this world will have begun its last, 7th millennium of human history (NOT the Rev. 20:4-7 millennium). If scripture patterns mean anything at all, by then, this world will have entered a subdued, fallow period of imposed rest of some kind. I expect the next 16 years to include tumultuous times that precede this fallow, 7th millennium, and have spoken to all my grown children at length of just how scripture lays out this pattern of 7 millenniums from creation to close. The progress of God's kingdom is not based on a pessimistic plan: God has promised that it will expand against all odds, and even because of them. It's only what we would expect from a God who is the author of all irrepressible Life.