17 Six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John the brother of James, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves.(A) 2 And His appearance changed dramatically in their presence; and His face shone [with heavenly glory, clear and bright] like the sun, and His clothing became as white as light. 3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Jesus. 4 Then Peter began to speak and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good and delightful and auspicious that we are here; if You wish, I will put up three [sacred] tents here—one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and [a]a voice from the cloud said, “[b]This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased and delighted! Listen to Him!”(B) 6 When the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were terrified. 7 But Jesus came and touched them and said, “Get up, and do not be afraid.” 8 And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus Himself alone.
9 And as they were going down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Do not tell anyone what you have seen until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.” 10 The disciples asked Him, “Then why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” 11 He answered and said, “Elijah is coming and will restore all things; 12 but I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not recognize him, but did to him as they wished. The Son of Man is also going to suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that He had spoken to them about John the Baptist.(C)
14 When they approached the crowd, a man came up to Jesus, kneeling before Him and saying,(D) 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is a lunatic (moonstruck) and suffers terribly; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. 16 And I brought him to Your disciples, and they were not able to heal him.” 17 And Jesus answered, “You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him here to Me.” 18 Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was healed at once.
19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and asked, “Why could we not drive it out?” 20 He answered, “Because of your little faith [your lack of trust and confidence in the power of God]; for I assure you and most solemnly say to you, [c]if you have [living] faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and [if it is God’s will] it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.(E) 21 [d][But this kind of demon does not go out except by prayer and fasting.]”
22 When they were gathering together in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed and handed over to men [who are His enemies]; 23 and they will kill Him, and He will be raised [from death to life] on the third day.” And they were deeply grieved and distressed.
The Tribute Money
24 When they arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the [e]half-shekel [temple tax] went up to Peter and said, “Does not your teacher pay the half-shekel?”(F) 25 Peter answered, “Yes.” And when he came home, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do earthly rulers collect duties or taxes, from their sons or from strangers?” 26 When Peter said, “From strangers,” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are exempt [from taxation]. 27 However, so that we do not offend them, go to the sea and throw in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a shekel. Take it and give it to them [to pay the temple tax] for you and Me.”
- Matthew 17:5 See note 3:17.
- Matthew 17:5 The Father’s words were a reminder that Jesus is unique, not to be equated with Moses and Elijah. He alone is the Son. The focus is on Him.
- Matthew 17:20 Jesus used this moment to emphasize to the disciples that a person’s confident, abiding faith combined with God’s power can produce absolutely amazing results, if the request is in harmony with God’s will. God is fully capable of doing that which man regards as impossible (Mark 14:36; James 4:3).
- Matthew 17:21 Early mss do not contain this verse.
- Matthew 17:24 Equivalent to two denarii or two days’ wages.
9 And Jesus said to them, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, there are [a]some of those who are standing here who will not taste (experience) death before they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power.”
2 Six days later, Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured (changed in form) before them [and began to shine brightly with divine and regal glory];(A) 3 and His clothes became radiant and dazzling, intensely white, as no launderer on earth can whiten them. 4 Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were having a conversation with Jesus. 5 Peter responded and said to Jesus, “Rabbi (Master), it is good for us to be here; let us make three [sacred] tents—one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 6 For he did not [really] know what to say because they were terrified [and stunned by the miraculous sight]. 7 Then a cloud formed, overshadowing them, and [b]a voice came out of the cloud, “This is My beloved Son. Listen to Him and obey Him!” 8 Suddenly they looked around and no longer saw anyone with them, except Jesus alone.
9 As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus expressly ordered them not to tell anyone what they had seen, until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 10 So they [carefully and faithfully] kept the matter to themselves, [c]discussing and questioning [with one another] what it meant to rise from the dead. 11 They asked Him, saying, “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first [before the Messiah comes]?”(B) 12 He answered them, “Elijah does come first and restores and reestablishes all things. And yet how is it written of the Son of Man that He will suffer many things [grief and physical distress] and be treated with contempt [utterly despised and rejected]?(C) 13 But I say to you that Elijah has in fact come [already], and they [d]did to him whatever they wished, just as it is written [in Scripture] of him.”
All Things Possible
14 When they came [back] to the [other nine] disciples, they saw a large crowd around them, and scribes questioning and arguing with them.(D) 15 Immediately, when the entire crowd saw Jesus, they were startled and began running up to greet Him. 16 He asked them, “What are you discussing with them?” 17 One of the crowd replied to Him, “Teacher, I brought You my son, possessed with a spirit which makes him unable to speak; 18 and whenever it seizes him [intending to do harm], it throws him down, and he foams [at the mouth], and grinds his teeth and becomes stiff. I told Your disciples to drive it out, and they could not do it.” 19 He replied, “O unbelieving (faithless) generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him to Me!” 20 They brought the boy to Him. When the [demonic] spirit saw Him, immediately it threw the boy into a convulsion, and falling to the ground he began rolling around and foaming at the mouth. 21 Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he answered, “Since childhood. 22 The demon has often thrown him both into fire and into water, intending to kill him. But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!” 23 Jesus said to him, “[You say to Me,] ‘If You can?’ All things are possible for the one who believes and trusts [in Me]!” 24 Immediately the father of the boy cried out [with a desperate, piercing cry], saying, “I do believe; help [me overcome] my unbelief.” 25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was rapidly gathering [around them], He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You deaf and mute spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again!” 26 After screaming out and throwing him into a terrible convulsion, it came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse [so still and pale] that many [of the spectators] said, “He is dead!” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and raised him; and he stood up. 28 When He had gone indoors, His disciples began asking Him privately, “Why were we unable to drive it out?” 29 He replied to them, “This kind [of unclean spirit] cannot come out by anything but prayer [to the Father].”
Death and Resurrection Foretold
30 They went on from there and began to go through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know it, 31 because He was teaching His disciples [and preparing them for the future]. He told them, “The Son of Man is to be betrayed and handed over to men [who are His enemies], and they will kill Him; and when He has been killed, He will rise [from the dead] three days later.” 32 But [e]they did not understand this statement, and they were afraid to ask Him [what He meant].
33 They arrived at Capernaum; and when He was in the [f]house, He asked them, “What were you discussing and arguing about on the road?”(E) 34 But they kept quiet, because on the road they had discussed and debated with one another which one [of them] was the greatest. 35 Sitting down [to teach], He called the twelve [disciples] and said to them, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be last of all [in importance] and a servant of all.” 36 Taking a child, He set him before them; and taking him in His arms, He said to them, 37 “Whoever receives and welcomes one child such as this in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me receives not [only] Me, but Him who sent Me.”(F)
38 John said to Him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we tried to stop him because he was not accompanying us [as Your disciple].”(G) 39 But Jesus said, “Do not stop him; for there is no one who will perform a miracle in My name, and be able soon afterward to speak evil of Me. 40 For he who is not against us is for us.(H) 41 For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because of your name as followers of Christ, I assure you and most solemnly say to you, he will not lose his reward.
42 “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe and trust in Me to stumble [that is, to sin or lose faith], it would be better for him if a heavy millstone [one requiring a donkey’s strength to turn it] were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.(I) 43 If your hand causes you to stumble and sin, cut it off [that is, remove yourself from the source of temptation]! It is better for you to enter life crippled, than to have two hands and go into [g]hell, into the unquenchable fire, 44 [h][where their worm does not die, and the fire is not put out.](J) 45 If your foot causes you to stumble and sin, cut it off [that is, remove yourself from the source of temptation]! It would be better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and be thrown into hell, 46 [i][where their worm does not die, and the fire is not put out.](K) 47 If your eye causes you to stumble and sin, throw it out [that is, remove yourself from the source of temptation]! It would be better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, 48 where their worm [that feeds on the dead] does not die, and the fire is not put out.(L)
49 “For everyone will be salted with fire. 50 Salt is good and useful; but if salt has lost its saltiness (purpose), how will you make it salty? Have salt within yourselves continually, and be at peace with one another.”
- Mark 9:1 Probably a reference to Peter, John, and James who were to witness the transfiguration a few days later.
- Mark 9:7 See note Matt 3:17.
- Mark 9:10 The doctrine of the resurrection was a well-known teaching of the Pharisees, so much so that Paul, an educated man, used it to turn the religious leaders against themselves (Acts 23:6-10). The three fishermen were, however, familiar with some of the prophetic Scriptures, but were confused by Jesus’ statements regarding His death and resurrection.
- Mark 9:13 This is a reference to Herod’s imprisoning and beheading John the Baptist (6:17-28).
- Mark 9:32 Cf v 10.
- Mark 9:33 Probably Peter’s home.
- Mark 9:43 See note Matt 5:22.
- Mark 9:44 Vv 44 and 46 are not found in early mss.
- Mark 9:46 Vv 44 and 46 are not found in early mss.
28 Now about eight days after these teachings, He took along Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray.(A) 29 As He was praying, the appearance of His face became different [actually transformed], and His clothing became white and flashing with the brilliance of lightning. 30 And behold, two men were talking with Him; and they were Moses and Elijah, 31 who appeared in glory, and were speaking of His departure [from earthly life], which He was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem. 32 Now Peter and those who were with him had been overcome with sleep; but when they were fully awake, they saw His glory and splendor and majesty, and the two men who were standing with Him. 33 And as these [men, Moses and Elijah] were leaving Him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is delightful and good for us to be here; we should make three [sacred] tents; one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—not realizing what he was saying. 34 But even as he was saying this, a cloud formed and began to overshadow them; and they were [greatly] afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 Then [a]a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, My Chosen One; listen and obey and yield to Him!” 36 When the voice had ceased, Jesus was found there alone. And they kept silent, and told no one at that time any of the things which they had seen [concerning the divine manifestation].(B)
37 On the next day, when they came down from the mountain, a large crowd met Him.(C) 38 And a man from the crowd shouted for help, “Teacher, I beg You to look at my son, because he is my only child; 39 and a spirit seizes him, and suddenly he cries out, and it throws him into a convulsion so that he foams at the mouth; and only with [great] difficulty does it leave him, mauling and bruising him as it leaves. 40 I begged Your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.” 41 Jesus answered, “You unbelieving and perverted generation! How long shall I be with you and put up with you? Bring your son here [to Me].” 42 Even while the boy was coming, the demon slammed him down and threw him into a [violent] convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the boy and gave him back to his father. 43 They were all amazed [practically overwhelmed] at the [evidence of the] greatness of God and His majesty and His wondrous work.(D)
But while they were still awed by everything Jesus was doing, He said to His disciples, 44 “Let these words sink into your ears: the Son of Man is going to be betrayed and handed over to men [who are His enemies].” 45 However, they did not understand this statement. Its meaning was kept hidden from them so that they would not grasp it; and they were afraid to ask Him about it.
The Test of Greatness
46 An argument started among them as to which of them might be the greatest [surpassing the others in esteem and authority].(E) 47 But Jesus, knowing what they were thinking in their heart, took a child and had him stand beside Him, 48 and He told them, “Whoever welcomes this child in My name welcomes Me; and whoever welcomes Me [also] welcomes Him who sent Me; for the one who is least among all of you [that is, the one who is genuinely humble—the one with a realistic self-view]—he is the one who is [truly] great.”
49 John replied, “Master, we saw someone driving out demons in Your name; and we tried to stop him because he does not follow along with us.”(F) 50 But Jesus told him, “Do not stop him; for he who is not against you is for you.”(G)
51 Now when the time was approaching for Him to be taken up [to heaven], He was determined to go to Jerusalem [to fulfill His purpose]. 52 He sent messengers on ahead of Him, and they went into a Samaritan village to make arrangements for Him; 53 but the people would not welcome Him, [b]because He was traveling toward Jerusalem. 54 When His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and destroy them?”(H) 55 But He turned and rebuked them [c][and He said, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are; 56 for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.”] And they journeyed on to another village.
57 As they were going along the road, someone said to Him, “I will follow You wherever You go.”(I) 58 And Jesus told him, “Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.” 59 He said to another, “Follow Me [accepting Me as Master and Teacher].” But he said, “Lord, allow me first to go and [d]bury my father.”(J) 60 But He said to him, “Allow the [spiritually] dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and spread the news about the kingdom of God.” 61 Another also said, “I will follow You, Lord [as Your disciple]; but first let me say goodbye to those at my home.” 62 But Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back [to the things left behind] is fit for the kingdom of God.”Read full chapter
- Luke 9:35 See note Matt 3:17.
- Luke 9:53 Because of the religious conflict between Samaritans and Jews, the people of Samaria were generally inhospitable to Jews and did not offer overnight accommodations to those who were traveling to Jerusalem to participate in religious events.
- Luke 9:55 Late mss add this to v 55 and continue into v 56.
- Luke 9:59 See note Matt 8:21.