What does Matthew 17:14 mean?
ESV: And when they came to the crowd, a man came up to him and, kneeling before him,
NIV: When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him.
NASB: When they came to the crowd, a man came up to Jesus, falling on his knees before Him and saying,
CSB: When they reached the crowd, a man approached and knelt down before him.
NLT: At the foot of the mountain, a large crowd was waiting for them. A man came and knelt before Jesus and said,
KJV: And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying,
Verse Commentary:
Jesus has privileged Peter, James, and John to an astounding experience on the mountain and a powerful conversation as they hiked down (Matthew 17:1–13). Arriving at the bottom, they immediately enter back into a world of demanding crowds and the earthly needs of Jesus' ministry.

A man approaches Christ and kneels before him in respect and humility. Matthew's telling of this story is quite condensed. Mark gives a much more detailed account (Mark 9:14–29). From Mark, we know that Jesus came to the remaining nine disciples and found them surrounded by a crowd and in an argument with some of the religious leaders known as scribes. When Jesus asks what they are arguing about, this man approaches Jesus and begins to describe what is happening to his son. Apparently, the scribes were arguing with the disciples about their inability to heal the boy.
Verse Context:
Matthew 17:14–21 finds Jesus and three of the disciples returning from the mountain, to find a crowd gathered around the remaining nine. A desperate father pleads on behalf of his demon-afflicted son who has seizures and often falls into water or fire. The disciples could not cast the demon out (Mark 9:14–29). Jesus, exasperated by the doubt of His disciples, rebukes the demon and heals the boy. When they ask, Jesus tells the disciples their faith was too small to cast out the demon. Even faith as small as a mustard seed is enough to move a mountain. Verse 21 nearly duplicates Mark 9:29 but is not found in the earliest manuscripts of Matthew.
Chapter Summary:
Jesus takes Peter, James, and John up on a high mountain. There, they see Him "transfigured" into a shining, divine form. They also see Christ speaking with Moses and Elijah but are commanded not to speak of this event until later. Jesus heals a demon-afflicted boy after the disciples cannot cast the demon out. Jesus very clearly tells the disciples He will be delivered into the hands of men, killed, and raised on the third day. After explaining why He is exempt from a temple tax, Jesus agrees to pay it and tells Peter to find the money in the mouth of a fish.
Chapter Context:
Matthew 17 begins with the fulfillment of Jesus' prediction at the end of the previous chapter: that some of those present would not die before seeing Him coming in His kingdom. Jesus casts out a demon, predicts His death, and commands Peter to pay a temple tax with a coin from the mouth of a fish. This leads Matthew back to extensive records of Jesus' teachings, continuing through chapter 20.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Matthew clearly shows the influence of its writer's background, and his effort to reach a specific audience. Matthew was one of Jesus' twelve disciples, a Jewish man, and a former tax collector. This profession would have required literacy, and Matthew may have transcribed some of Jesus' words as they were spoken. This book is filled with references to the Old Testament, demonstrating to Israel that Jesus is the Promised One. Matthew also includes many references to coins, likely due to his former profession. Matthew records extensive accounts of Jesus' teaching, more than the other three Gospels.
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