What does Matthew 17:23 mean?
ESV: and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.” And they were greatly distressed.
NIV: They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life.' And the disciples were filled with grief.
NASB: and they will kill Him, and He will be raised on the third day.' And they were deeply grieved.
CSB: They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised up." And they were deeply distressed.
NLT: He will be killed, but on the third day he will be raised from the dead.' And the disciples were filled with grief.
KJV: And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry.
Verse Commentary:
In making these statements, Jesus is not speaking in parables or obtuse language. He is not attempting to confuse the disciples. He truly wants them to know what is coming, and He is intentionally being clear about what will soon happen to Him. He is providing for them both by managing their expectations for what comes next and by giving them facts to remember after His death and then His resurrection.

He has told them that He, the "Son of Man," is about to be delivered into the hands of men. Now He adds that those men will kill Him and then He will be raised on the third day (John 12:32–33). Jesus willingly made Himself available to be sacrificed for the sins of humanity on the cross. He did this with full knowledge of what would take place (Matthew 16:21; 17:22–23). He was never surprised by a moment of it. He was acting in full obedience and submission to the will of God the Father, who gave His only begotten Son as this sacrifice (John 3:16).

The disciples were upset to hear Jesus say this. Still, they did not fully understand what it meant (John 2:22).
Verse Context:
Matthew 17:22–27 begins with Jesus once again predicting His death at the hands of religious enemies in Jerusalem (Matthew 16:21). Collectors of the annual two-drachma temple tax approach Peter and ask if Jesus will pay. Jesus explains to Peter why He is exempt from the tax, but He says that He will pay it to avoid giving offense over the issue. He commands Peter to pay the tax for them both: by catching a fish in which he will find a coin sufficient for the task.
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.
Accessed 3/1/2024 9:48:42 PM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.