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Chapter 17

Matthew 17 Commentary

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Matthew 17:1-8 meaning

Jesus fulfills the prophesy He told His disciples about a week earlier when He said that some of them would not see death until they saw the Son of Man coming in His kingdom. Jesus takes three of His disciples: Peter, James, and John up on a high mountain and is terrifyingly transfigured before them.

Matthew 17:9-13 meaning

Jesus forbids Peter, James, and John to tell anyone about what they just saw until after the Son of Man has risen from the dead. The disciples seem to think that He meant to not tell anyone until Elijah returns, and so they ask Jesus to explain how Elijah was to come before the Messiah and yet is still to come even though Jesus has arrived and is the Messiah. Jesus explains this to them.

Matthew 17:14-18 meaning

A desperate father approaches Jesus begging him to heal his son’s lunacy. He said that Jesus’ disciples were unable to help. Jesus scolds the unbelieving and perverted generation and then casts out the demon, curing the boy.

Matthew 17:19-21 meaning

The disciples approach Jesus to ask Him about why they were unable to cast the demon out of the man’s son. Jesus tells them that it was because of their unbelief. He then tells them that if they have faith of a mustard seed they would be able to tell mountains to move and they would move.

Matthew 17:22-23 meaning

Jesus tells His disciples that He will be handed over, killed, and raised from the dead as He and His disciples gather together in Galilee. His comment deeply troubles the disciples.

Matthew 17:24-27 meaning

Tax collectors from the Temple ask Peter whether or not Jesus pays the temple tax prescribed by the Mosaic Law. Peter replies "Yes." When Peter enters his house, Jesus asks him if the king's sons pay taxes to their Father. Peter replies "No." Jesus then tells His disciple that neither does He owe anything to these collectors, but He will pay it anyway. He then commands Peter to go catch a fish, and to take the coins out of its mouth and use that to pay the tax debt for both of them.