17 Six days later Jesus took Peter, James, and his brother John to the top of a high and lonely hill, 2 and as they watched, his appearance changed so that his face shone like the sun and his clothing became dazzling white.
3 Suddenly Moses and Elijah appeared and were talking with him. 4 Peter blurted out, “Sir, it’s wonderful that we can be here! If you want me to, I’ll make three shelters,[a] one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.”
5 But even as he said it, a bright cloud came over them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, and I am wonderfully pleased with him. Obey him.”[b]
6 At this the disciples fell face downward to the ground, terribly frightened. 7 Jesus came over and touched them. “Get up,” he said, “don’t be afraid.”
8 And when they looked, only Jesus was with them.
9 As they were going down the mountain, Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone what they had seen until after he had risen from the dead.
10 His disciples asked, “Why do the Jewish leaders insist Elijah must return before the Messiah comes?”[c]
11 Jesus replied, “They are right. Elijah must come and set everything in order. 12 And, in fact, he has already come, but he wasn’t recognized, and was badly mistreated by many. And I, the Messiah,[d] shall also suffer at their hands.”
13 Then the disciples realized he was speaking of John the Baptist.
14 When they arrived at the bottom of the hill, a huge crowd was waiting for them. A man came and knelt before Jesus and said, 15 “Sir, have mercy on my son, for he is mentally deranged and in great trouble, for he often falls into the fire or into the water; 16 so I brought him to your disciples, but they couldn’t cure him.”
17 Jesus replied, “Oh, you stubborn, faithless people! How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to me.” 18 Then Jesus rebuked the demon in the boy and it left him, and from that moment the boy was well.
19 Afterwards the disciples asked Jesus privately, “Why couldn’t we cast that demon out?”
20 “Because of your little faith,” Jesus told them. “For if you had faith even as small as a tiny mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move!’ and it would go far away. Nothing would be impossible. 21 But this kind of demon won’t leave unless you have prayed and gone without food.”[e]
22-23 One day while they were still in Galilee, Jesus told them, “I am going to be betrayed into the power of those who will kill me, and on the third day afterwards I will be brought back to life again.” And the disciples’ hearts were filled with sorrow and dread.
24 On their arrival in Capernaum, the Temple tax collectors came to Peter and asked him, “Doesn’t your master pay taxes?”
25 “Of course he does,” Peter replied.
Then he went into the house to talk to Jesus about it, but before he had a chance to speak, Jesus asked him, “What do you think, Peter? Do kings levy assessments against their own people or against conquered foreigners?”
26-27 “Against the foreigners,” Peter replied.
“Well, then,” Jesus said, “the citizens are free! However, we don’t want to offend them, so go down to the shore and throw in a line, and open the mouth of the first fish you catch. You will find a coin to cover the taxes for both of us; take it and pay them.”
- Matthew 17:4 three shelters, literally, “three tabernacles” or “tents.” What was in Peter’s mind is not explained.
- Matthew 17:5 Obey him, literally, “Hear him.”
- Matthew 17:10 Elijah must return before the Messiah comes, implied. Literally, “that Elijah must come first.”
- Matthew 17:12 the Messiah, literally, “the Son of Man.”
- Matthew 17:21 This verse is omitted in many of the ancient manuscripts.