Home / Commentary / Matthew / Matthew Chapter 17
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.
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.
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.
The disciples approach Jesus to ask Him about why there 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.
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.
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.
Jesus takes Peter, James, and John up on a mountainside alone. His appearance changes to brilliant radiance and He reveals His glory to these three disciples. Moses and Elijah appear also and Jesus talks with them. Peter says they should stay, and a voice from Heaven announces that Jesus is God’s Son and all returns to normal. Jesus then reveals to His disciples that John the Baptist was Elijah. A crowd brings a demoniac to Jesus’s disciples, but they are unable to liberate the boy. Jesus casts out the evil spirit and rebukes His disciples for their lack of faith. Jesus again reminded them that He will be arrested and killed. In Capernaum, tax collectors ask Peter to pay the two-drachma tax. Jesus tells Peter to get it from the mouth of a fish and pay the men. Peter does.