Matthew 17-19 Common English Bible (CEB)
17 Six days later Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and brought them to the top of a very high mountain. 2 He was transformed in front of them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light.
3 Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Jesus. 4 Peter reacted to all of this by saying to Jesus, “Lord, it’s good that we’re here. If you want, I’ll make three shrines: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
5 While he was still speaking, look, a bright cloud overshadowed them. A voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son whom I dearly love. I am very pleased with him. Listen to him!” 6 Hearing this, the disciples fell on their faces, filled with awe.
7 But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” 8 When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.
9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Don’t tell anybody about the vision until the Human One[a] is raised from the dead.”
10 The disciples asked, “Then why do the legal experts say that Elijah must first come?”
11 Jesus responded, “Elijah does come first and will restore all things. 12 In fact, I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they didn’t know him. But they did to him whatever they wanted. In the same way the Human One[b] is also going to suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples realized he was telling them about John the Baptist.
Healing of a boy who was demon-possessed
14 When they came to the crowd, a man met Jesus. He knelt before him, 15 saying, “Lord, show mercy to my son. He is epileptic and suffers terribly, for he often falls into the fire or the water. 16 I brought him to your disciples, but they couldn’t heal him.”
17 Jesus answered, “You faithless and crooked generation, how long will I be with you? How long will I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” 18 Then Jesus spoke harshly to the demon. And it came out of the child, who was healed from that time on.
19 Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and said, “Why couldn’t we throw the demon out?”
20 “Because you have little faith,” he said. “I assure you that if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Go from here to there,’ and it will go. There will be nothing that you can’t do.”[c]
Second prediction of Jesus’ death and resurrection
22 When the disciples came together in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Human One[d] is about to be delivered over into human hands. 23 They will kill him. But he will be raised on the third day.” And they were heartbroken.
Paying the temple tax
24 When they came to Capernaum, the people who collected the half-shekel temple tax came to Peter and said, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?”
25 “Yes,” he said.
But when they came into the house, Jesus spoke to Peter first.“What do you think, Simon? From whom do earthly kings collect taxes, from their children or from strangers?”
26 “From strangers,” he said.
Jesus said to him, “Then the children don’t have to pay. 27 But just so we don’t offend them, go to the lake, throw out a fishing line and hook, and take the first fish you catch. When you open its mouth, you will find a shekel coin. Take it and pay the tax for both of us.”
Greatest in the kingdom
18 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
2 Then he called a little child over to sit among the disciples, 3 and said, “I assure you that if you don’t turn your lives around and become like this little child, you will definitely not enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Those who humble themselves like this little child will be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.
Falling into sin
6 “As for whoever causes these little ones who believe in me to trip and fall into sin, it would be better for them to have a huge stone hung around their necks and be drowned in the bottom of the lake. 7 How terrible it is for the world because of the things that cause people to trip and fall into sin! Such things have to happen, but how terrible it is for the person who causes those things to happen! 8 If your hand or your foot causes you to fall into sin, chop it off and throw it away. It’s better to enter into life crippled or lame than to be thrown into the eternal fire with two hands or two feet. 9 If your eye causes you to fall into sin, tear it out and throw it away. It’s better to enter into life with one eye than to be cast into a burning hell with two eyes.
Parable of the lost sheep
10 “Be careful that you don’t look down on one of these little ones. I say to you that their angels in heaven are always looking into the face of my Father who is in heaven.[e] 12 What do you think? If someone had one hundred sheep and one of them wandered off, wouldn’t he leave the ninety-nine on the hillsides and go in search for the one that wandered off? 13 If he finds it, I assure you that he is happier about having that one sheep than about the ninety-nine who didn’t wander off. 14 In the same way, my Father who is in heaven doesn’t want to lose one of these little ones.
Sinning brother or sister
15 “If your brother or sister sins against you, go and correct them when you are alone together. If they listen to you, then you’ve won over your brother or sister. 16 But if they won’t listen, take with you one or two others so that every word may be established by the mouth of two or three witnesses.[f] 17 But if they still won’t pay attention, report it to the church. If they won’t pay attention even to the church, treat them as you would a Gentile and tax collector. 18 I assure you that whatever you fasten on earth will be fastened in heaven. And whatever you loosen on earth will be loosened in heaven. 19 Again I assure you that if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, then my Father who is in heaven will do it for you. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, I’m there with them.”
Parable of the unforgiving servant
21 Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, how many times should I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Should I forgive as many as seven times?”
22 Jesus said, “Not just seven times, but rather as many as seventy-seven times.[g] 23 Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 When he began to settle accounts, they brought to him a servant who owed him ten thousand bags of gold.[h] 25 Because the servant didn’t have enough to pay it back, the master ordered that he should be sold, along with his wife and children and everything he had, and that the proceeds should be used as payment. 26 But the servant fell down, kneeled before him, and said, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I’ll pay you back.’ 27 The master had compassion on that servant, released him, and forgave the loan.
28 “When that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him one hundred coins.[i] He grabbed him around the throat and said, ‘Pay me back what you owe me.’
29 “Then his fellow servant fell down and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I’ll pay you back.’ 30 But he refused. Instead, he threw him into prison until he paid back his debt.
31 “When his fellow servants saw what happened, they were deeply offended. They came and told their master all that happened. 32 His master called the first servant and said, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you appealed to me. 33 Shouldn’t you also have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ 34 His master was furious and handed him over to the guard responsible for punishing prisoners, until he had paid the whole debt.
35 “My heavenly Father will also do the same to you if you don’t forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
Teaching about divorce
19 When Jesus finished saying these things, he left Galilee and came to the area of Judea on the east side of the Jordan. 2 Large crowds followed him, and he healed them. 3 Some Pharisees came to him. In order to test him, they said, “Does the Law allow a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?”
4 Jesus answered, “Haven’t you read that at the beginning the creator made them male and female?[j] 5 And God said, ‘Because of this a man should leave his father and mother and be joined together with his wife, and the two will be one flesh.’[k] 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore, humans must not pull apart what God has put together.”
7 The Pharisees said to him, “Then why did Moses command us to give a divorce certificate and divorce her?”[l]
8 Jesus replied, “Moses allowed you to divorce your wives because your hearts are unyielding. But it wasn’t that way from the beginning. 9 I say to you that whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.”
10 His disciples said to him, “If that’s the way things are between a man and his wife, then it’s better not to marry.”
11 He replied, “Not everybody can accept this teaching, but only those who have received the ability to accept it. 12 For there are eunuchs who have been eunuchs from birth. And there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by other people. And there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs because of the kingdom of heaven. Those who can accept it should accept it.”
Jesus blesses children
13 Some people brought children to Jesus so that he would place his hands on them and pray. But the disciples scolded them. 14 “Allow the children to come to me,” Jesus said. “Don’t forbid them, because the kingdom of heaven belongs to people like these children.” 15 Then he blessed the children and went away from there.
A rich man’s question
16 A man approached him and said, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to have eternal life?”
17 Jesus said, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There’s only one who is good. If you want to enter eternal life, keep the commandments.”
18 The man said, “Which ones?”
20 The young man replied, “I’ve kept all these. What am I still missing?”
21 Jesus said, “If you want to be complete, go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor. Then you will have treasure in heaven. And come follow me.”
22 But when the young man heard this, he went away saddened, because he had many possessions.
Teaching about giving up things
23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I assure you that it will be very hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 In fact, it’s easier for a camel to squeeze through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter God’s kingdom.”
25 When his disciples heard this, they were stunned. “Then who can be saved?” they asked.
26 Jesus looked at them carefully and said, “It’s impossible for human beings. But all things are possible for God.”
27 Then Peter replied, “Look, we’ve left everything and followed you. What will we have?”
28 Jesus said to them, “I assure you who have followed me that, when everything is made new, when the Human One[o] sits on his magnificent throne, you also will sit on twelve thrones overseeing the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And all who have left houses, brothers, sisters, father, mother, children, or farms because of my name will receive one hundred times more and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last. And many who are last will be first.