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Matthew chapter 17

New International Version

1 After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. 3 Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.
4 Peter said to Jesus, 'Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters--one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.'
5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, 'This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!'
6 When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. 7 But Jesus came and touched them. 'Get up,' he said. 'Don't be afraid.' 8 When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.
9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, 'Don't tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.'
10 The disciples asked him, 'Why then do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?'
11 Jesus replied, 'To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. 12 But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.' 13 Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist.
14 When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. 15 Lord, have mercy on my son,' he said. 'He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. 16 I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.'
17 You unbelieving and perverse generation,' Jesus replied, 'how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.' 18 Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment.
19 Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, 'Why couldn't we drive it out?'
20 He replied, 'Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.' 21
22 When they came together in Galilee, he said to them, 'The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. 23 They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life.' And the disciples were filled with grief.
24 After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma temple tax came to Peter and asked, 'Doesn't your teacher pay the temple tax?'
25 Yes, he does,' he replied. When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. 'What do you think, Simon?' he asked. 'From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes--from their own children or from others?'
26 From others,' Peter answered. 'Then the children are exempt,' Jesus said to him. 27 But so that we may not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.'
English Standard Version

1 And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. 3 And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. 4 And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 5 He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” 6 When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified. 7 But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear.” 8 And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.
9 And as they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Tell no one the vision, until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.” 10 And the disciples asked him, “Then why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?” 11 He answered, “Elijah does come, and he will restore all things. 12 But I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of Man will certainly suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist.
14 And when they came to the crowd, a man came up to him and, kneeling before him, 15 said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he has seizures and he suffers terribly. For often he falls into the fire, and often into the water. 16 And I brought him to your disciples, and they could not heal him.” 17 And Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.” 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was healed instantly. 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” 20 He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” 21
22 As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men, 23 and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.” And they were greatly distressed.
24 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?” 25 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?” 26 And when he said, “From others,” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are free. 27 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.”
King James Version

1 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, 2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. 3 And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. 4 Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. 5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. 6 And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. 7 And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. 8 And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only. 9 And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead. 10 And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? 11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. 12 But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. 13 Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.
14 And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying, 15 Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. 16 And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him. 17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me. 18 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. 19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? 20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. 21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
22 And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men: 23 And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry.
24 And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? 25 He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? 26 Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. 27 Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.
New American Standard Bible

1 Six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. 2 And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. 3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. 4 Peter said to Jesus, 'Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.' 5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, 'This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!' 6 When the disciples heard this, they fell face down to the ground and were terrified. 7 And Jesus came to them and touched them and said, 'Get up, and do not be afraid.' 8 And lifting up their eyes, they saw no one except Jesus Himself alone.
9 As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, 'Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man has risen from the dead.' 10 And His disciples asked Him, 'Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?' 11 And He answered and said, 'Elijah is coming and will restore all things; 12 but I say to you that Elijah already came, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they wished. So also the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.' 13 Then the disciples understood that He had spoken to them about John the Baptist.
14 When they came to the crowd, a man came up to Jesus, falling on his knees before Him and saying, 15 'Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is a lunatic and is very ill; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. 16 'I brought him to Your disciples, and they could not cure him.' 17 And Jesus answered and said, 'You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him here to Me.' 18 And Jesus rebuked him, and the demon came out of him, and the boy was cured at once.
19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, 'Why could we not drive it out?' 20 And He said to them, 'Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you. 21 'But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.'
22 And while they were gathering together in Galilee, Jesus said to them, 'The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men; 23 and they will kill Him, and He will be raised on the third day.' And they were deeply grieved.
24 When they came to Capernaum, those who collected the two-drachma tax came to Peter and said, 'Does your teacher not pay the two-drachma tax?' 25 He said, 'Yes.' And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, 'What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth collect customs or poll-tax, from their sons or from strangers?' 26 When Peter said, 'From strangers,' Jesus said to him, 'Then the sons are exempt. 27 'However, so that we do not offend them, go to the sea and throw in 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 you and Me.'
New Living Translation

1 Six days later Jesus took Peter and the two brothers, James and John, and led them up a high mountain to be alone. 2 As the men watched, Jesus' appearance was transformed so that his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light. 3 Suddenly, Moses and Elijah appeared and began talking with Jesus.
4 Peter exclaimed, 'Lord, it's wonderful for us to be here! If you want, I'll make three shelters as memorials--one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.'
5 But even as he spoke, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, 'This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy. Listen to him.' 6 The disciples were terrified and fell face down on the ground.
7 Then Jesus came over and touched them. 'Get up,' he said. 'Don't be afraid.' 8 And when they looked up, Moses and Elijah were gone, and they saw only Jesus.
9 As they went back down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, 'Don't tell anyone what you have seen until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.'
10 Then his disciples asked him, 'Why do the teachers of religious law insist that Elijah must return before the Messiah comes?'
11 Jesus replied, 'Elijah is indeed coming first to get everything ready. 12 But I tell you, Elijah has already come, but he wasn't recognized, and they chose to abuse him. And in the same way they will also make the Son of Man suffer.' 13 Then the disciples realized he was talking about John the Baptist.
14 At the foot of the mountain, a large crowd was waiting for them. A man came and knelt before Jesus and said, 15 'Lord, have mercy on my son. He has seizures and suffers terribly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. 16 So I brought him to your disciples, but they couldn't heal him.'
17 Jesus said, 'You faithless and corrupt people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.' 18 Then Jesus rebuked the demon in the boy, and it left him. From that moment the boy was well.
19 Afterward the disciples asked Jesus privately, 'Why couldn't we cast out that demon?'
20 'You don't have enough faith,' Jesus told them. 'I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.' 21
22 After they gathered again in Galilee, Jesus told them, 'The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of his enemies. 23 He will be killed, but on the third day he will be raised from the dead.' And the disciples were filled with grief.
24 On their arrival in Capernaum, the collectors of the Temple tax came to Peter and asked him, 'Doesn't your teacher pay the Temple tax?'
25 'Yes, he does,' Peter replied. Then he went into the house. But before he had a chance to speak, Jesus asked him, 'What do you think, Peter? Do kings tax their own people or the people they have conquered?'
26 'They tax the people they have conquered,' Peter replied. 'Well, then,' Jesus said, 'the citizens are free! 27 However, we don't want to offend them, so go down to the lake and throw in a line. Open the mouth of the first fish you catch, and you will find a large silver coin. Take it and pay the tax for both of us.'
Christian Standard Bible

1 After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and his brother John and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. 2 He was transfigured in front of them, and his face shone like the sun; his clothes became as white as the light. 3 Suddenly, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with him. 4 Then Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, it's good for us to be here. I will set up three shelters here: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah."
5 While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said: "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased. Listen to him!" 6 When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown and were terrified.
7 Jesus came up, touched them, and said, "Get up; don't be afraid." 8 When they looked up they saw no one except Jesus alone.
9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, "Don't tell anyone about the vision until the Son of Man is raised from the dead."
10 So the disciples asked him, "Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?"
11 "Elijah is coming and will restore everything," he replied. 12 "But I tell you: Elijah has already come, and they didn't recognize him. On the contrary, they did whatever they pleased to him. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands." 13 Then the disciples understood that he had spoken to them about John the Baptist.
14 When they reached the crowd, a man approached and knelt down before him. 15 "Lord," he said, "have mercy on my son, because he has seizures and suffers terribly. He often falls into the fire and often into the water. 16 I brought him to your disciples, but they couldn't heal him."
17 Jesus replied, "You unbelieving and perverse generation, how long will I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring him here to me." 18 Then Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and from that moment the boy was healed.
19 Then the disciples approached Jesus privately and said, "Why couldn't we drive it out?"
20 "Because of your little faith," he told them. "For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." 21
22 As they were gathering together in Galilee, Jesus told them, "The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men. 23 They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised up." And they were deeply distressed.
24 When they came to Capernaum, those who collected the temple tax approached Peter and said, "Doesn't your teacher pay the temple tax?"
25 "Yes," he said. When he went into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, "What do you think, Simon? From whom do earthly kings collect tariffs or taxes? From their sons or from strangers?"
26 "From strangers," he said. "Then the sons are free," Jesus told him. 27 "But, so we won't offend them, go to the sea, cast in a fishhook, and take the first fish that you catch. When you open its mouth you'll find a coin. Take it and give it to them for me and you."

What does Matthew chapter 17 mean?

The previous chapter concluded with a prediction: some of those with Jesus would not die before seeing Him coming in His kingdom. That is what happens six days later when Jesus selects Peter, James, and John to climb a high mountain with Him. Once there, they see Jesus transfigured into His glorious reality, His face shining like the sun and His clothes gleaming white as light. Not only that, but the three disciples also see Moses and Elijah, long gone from the earth, standing and talking with Jesus (Matthew 17:1–3).

Peter, ever eager to act, feels the need to say something in response to wonder. In awestruck haste, he blunders by offering to build three tents, one for each of these figures. That suggestion is literally interrupted by a voice from heaven. God the Father arrives in a bright cloud and describes Himself as being well-pleased with Jesus, His beloved Son. He commands the disciples to listen to Jesus. They fall to their faces in terror. When they look up again, all has returned to normal. Jesus commands them to tell nobody about this until after His resurrection and then answers a question about Elijah (Matthew 17:4–13).

The three return to the base of the mountain to find the remaining nine disciples in a crowd of people. A man kneels before Jesus and asks Him to have mercy on his son. The boy has seizures, caused by a demon, that make him to fall into fire and water to hurt himself. This detail distinguishes the condition from something natural like epilepsy. The man tells Jesus the disciples could not heal the boy (Matthew 17:14–16).

Jesus responds with exasperation. The same men who He'd earlier empowered to perform such tasks (Matthew 10:5–8) seem to be doubting their mission. He asks how long He will have to put up with this faithless and twisted generation. He rebukes the demon and the boy is healed. When asked by the disciples why they could not cast out the demon, Jesus says it is because of their little faith. With the even a mustard seed-sized faith, nothing will be impossible for them (Matthew 17:17–21).

Jesus tells the disciples, once again, about His impending death (Matthew 16:21). He will be betrayed and handed over to those who will murder Him (Matthew 17:22–23).

Back in Jesus' adopted hometown of Capernaum (Matthew 4:13), collectors of the annual two-drachma, half-shekel temple tax approach Peter. They ask "if" Jesus will pay the sum required of every Jewish man 20 years and older. Most likely, they are not really wondering, but are there to collect the payment. Peter says yes, Jesus will pay it (Matthew 17:24–25).

Before Peter can bring this up to Him, Jesus explains that, as the Son of God, He is exempt from the tax. However, Jesus agrees to pay the tax to avoid giving offense over the issue. He commands Peter to get the money for the tax by catching a fish in the Sea of Galilee. Peter will find a shekel coin in the mouth of the first fish he catches. He should use that coin to pay the tax for both himself and for Jesus (Matthew 17:26–27).