Matthew 17 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
Jesus Is Seen With Moses and Elijah
17 Six days later, Jesus took Peter, James, and John the brother of James and went up on a high mountain. They were all alone there. 2 While these followers watched him, Jesus was changed. His face became bright like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. 3 Then two men were there, talking with him. They were Moses and Elijah.
4 Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you want, I will put three tents here—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
5 While Peter was talking, a bright cloud came over them. A voice came from the cloud and said, “This is my Son, the one I love. I am very pleased with him. Obey him!”
6 The followers with Jesus heard this voice. They were very afraid, so they fell to the ground. 7 But Jesus came to them and touched them. He said, “Stand up. Don’t be afraid.” 8 The followers looked up, and they saw that Jesus was now alone.
9 As Jesus and the followers were coming down the mountain, he gave them this command: “Don’t tell anyone about what you saw on the mountain. Wait until the Son of Man has been raised from death. Then you can tell people about what you saw.”
10 The followers asked Jesus, “Why do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come[a] before the Messiah comes?”
11 Jesus answered, “They are right to say Elijah is coming. And it is true that Elijah will make all things the way they should be. 12 But I tell you, Elijah has already come. People did not know who he was, and they treated him badly, doing whatever they wanted to do. It is the same with the Son of Man. Those same people will make the Son of Man suffer.” 13 Then the followers understood that when Jesus said Elijah, he was really talking about John the Baptizer.
Jesus Frees a Boy From an Evil Spirit
14 Jesus and the followers went back to the people. A man came to Jesus and bowed before him. 15 The man said, “Lord, be kind to my son. He suffers so much from the seizures he has. He often falls into the fire or into the water. 16 I brought him to your followers, but they could not heal him.”
17 Jesus answered, “You people today have no faith. Your lives are so wrong! How long must I stay with you? How long must I continue to be patient with you? Bring the boy here.” 18 Jesus gave a strong command to the demon inside the boy. The demon came out of the boy, and the boy was healed.
19 Then the followers came to Jesus alone. They said, “We tried to force the demon out of the boy, but we could not. Why were we not able to make the demon go out?”
20 Jesus answered, “You were not able to make the demon go out, because your faith is too small. Believe me when I tell you, if your faith is only as big as a mustard seed you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. You will be able to do anything.” 21 [b]
Jesus Talks About His Death
22 Later, the followers met together in Galilee. Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man will be handed over to the control of other men, 23 who will kill him. But on the third day he will be raised from death.” The followers were very sad to hear that Jesus would be killed.
Jesus Teaches About Paying Taxes
24 Jesus and his followers went to Capernaum. There the men who collect the two-drachma Temple tax came to Peter and asked, “Does your teacher pay the Temple tax?”
25 Peter answered, “Yes, he does.”
Peter went into the house where Jesus was. Before Peter could speak, Jesus said to him, “The kings on the earth get different kinds of taxes from people. But who are those who pay the taxes? Are they the king’s children? Or do other people pay the taxes? What do you think?”
26 Peter answered, “The other people pay the taxes.”
Jesus said, “Then the children of the king don’t have to pay taxes. 27 But we don’t want to upset these tax collectors. So do this: Go to the lake and fish. After you catch the first fish, open its mouth. Inside its mouth you will find a four-drachma coin. Take that coin and give it to the tax collectors. That will pay the tax for you and me.”