Matthew 17

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Read Matthew 17

The Transfiguration

17 After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.

Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”

While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”

When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.

As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

10 The disciples asked him, “Why then do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?”

11 Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. 12 But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist.

Jesus Heals a Demon-Possessed Boy

14 When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. 16 I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.”

17 “You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” 18 Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment.

19 Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”

20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” [21] 

Jesus Predicts His Death a Second Time

22 When they came together in Galilee, he said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. 23 They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life.” And the disciples were filled with grief.

The Temple Tax

24 After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma temple tax came to Peter and asked, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?”

25 “Yes, he does,” he replied.

When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. “What do you think, Simon?” he asked. “From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes—from their own children or from others?”

26 “From others,” Peter answered.

“Then the children are exempt,” Jesus said to him. 27 “But so that we may not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.”

Go Deeper

A lot happens here in Matthew 17. We see the transfiguration of Jesus, another healing, and some of Jesus’s interactions (including another foretelling of His own death). Today, we are going to focus on three key takeaways from this passage.

The first is the importance of God’s glory. It says, “His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.” (v. 2) Think about all the words we could use to describe Jesus in that moment: Magnificent, holy, marvelous, honorable, grand, distinct, glorious. It is okay to take a step back and relish in the beauty of who God is and be in awe. Sometimes we get so preoccupied being a Christian, that we forget to just sit in amazement of who He is. We get so focused on looking for what He’s doing, where He’s leading, what He’s teaching, worrying if we have studied our Bibles enough, if we are walking in His will, or if we are singing the right songs. God is so big! He is so powerful! He is the author. He knows all things and is over all things. He is perfect. He works miracles. He transforms lives. In this moment, Peter James, and John saw just how glorious Jesus truly was.

The second takeaway is the importance of listening to God. Notice what God tells Peter, James, and John in verse 5: “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well-pleased. Listen to Him!” The response of the disciples when God instructed them to listen is fascinating. They fell face down and were terrified (v. 6). Sometimes instead of bowing down in obedience and reverence, we can be quick to argue our case, as if we would be a better God of our own lives. However, the instruction from God to the disciples should not be missed. When God speaks, listen. Pay attention to the Holy Spirit’s promptings in your own life. We know to listen to God. However, when we consider how often we bargain with God or justify our reasons for doing something other than what God has instructed, we realize this reminder is necessary.

The last takeaway in this chapter is the importance of going to Jesus in faith. In verses 14-21, we see God’s power put on display. We can bring someone to Church, around other believers, but we cannot “heal” (or save) them. Only God can save people. We can only do so much, and the rest is up to God. This is where faith comes in! Let this be our reminder that God is the one at work, and some things only He can do. We are only as powerful as His power relinquished in us.


  1. What makes you in awe of God? Is it the way the world is spinning, and yet you can’t feel it? Is it the fact that he is omniscient? In what ways do you marvel at God? 
  2. What is God instructing of you, and are you listening?  Are there areas in your life where you think you are a better god? 
  3. Can you take the pressure off yourself to save others, and trust in God’s faithfulness?  Why do you feel like it is your job to do the saving, if God is more powerful?   

Pray This


Help me remember how glorious You are. Remind me today that You alone are worthy of it all. Help me listen to You and the ways You are stirring my heart. Let your voice be the loudest in my life. May I fear You, dying to myself, my needs, my worries, my agenda, and instead walk in Your truth and satisfy Your needs, Your desires. Help me take the pressure off myself, and trust in Your might and power. You are more than able. Thank you for reigning over my life.Thank you for giving me Your truth. Thank you for reminding me Your instruction is to be heeded, and for giving me grace when I disobey. You are so good. 

Your Kingdom come, Your will be done. Amen.  

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3 thoughts on “Matthew 17”

  1. 4 Life-giving things that stirred my heart today:

    1. His glory is like no other. It calls me into deep worship.
    2. The most important words ever spoken are the words
    of Christ. Heed them!
    3. Mustard-sized faith in Christ can move mountains. I
    must continually trust in his power to act.
    4. We are Christ’s ambassadors in this fallen world.
    Flawed as we may be, believers are tasked with
    making disciples. What a privilege!

  2. Great commentary and points!

    Yesterday, I listened to Tim Keller over the parables of the field and pearl found in Matthew 13:44-46. It was so profoundly explained and thought provoking. It made me think about the disciples in comparison—how they abandoned their lives and occupations to follow Jesus…they sold their possessions and bought a field. Keller asked what is your god in your life that keeps you from obeying and releasing everything you have to serve, worship, or have full repentance to God? What is your treasure that you hold so tightly as your identity that is robbing you of joy?
    I know I’ve questioned the disciples unbelief at times, but one thing God pointed out real quickly to me was “they gave up their life to follow Jesus (even with some doubt), Christi. I’m asking that of you, too.”

  3. Everyone of these chapters has too much information to barely be able to unpack. That is where I feel sad that we cant sit and look into more of each section. There is so much information that is we can learn from, glean day to day walk to understand more about our Lord and Savior plus our Heavenly Father.
    God thank You for giving us the information that is most prevalent for our walk this day in Jesus name Amen

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