17:1 And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John1 his brother, and bringeth them up into a high mountain apart: THIRD WITHDRAWAL FROM HEROD'S TERRITORY. D. THE TRANSFIGURATION. CONCERNING ELIJAH. (A Spur of Hermon, near Caesarea Philippi.) Matthew 17:1-13; Mark 9:2-13; Luke 9:28-36
After six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John,
etc. See Mark
17:2 and he was
transfigured before them1; and his face did shine as the
sun, and his garments became white as the light2.
He was transfigured before them. See Mark
His garments became white as the light. See Mark
17:3 And behold, there
appeared unto them Moses and Elijah1 talking with him.
There appeared unto them Moses and Elijah. See Mark
17:4 And Peter answered, and said unto
Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, I
will make here three tabernacles1; one for thee, and one
for Moses, and one for Elijah.
I will make here three tabernacles, etc. See Mark
17:5 While he was yet speaking, behold, a
bright cloud overshadowed them1: and behold, a voice out
of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye
A bright cloud overshadowed them, etc. See Mark
17:6 And when the disciples heard it, they
fell on their face, and were sore afraid1.
They fell on their face, and were sore afraid. As every man is who
hears the voice of God.
17:7 And Jesus came and touched them and
said, Arise, and be not afraid1.
Arise, and be not afraid. As mediator between man and God, Jesus
removes fear. Also see Luke
17:8 And lifting up their eyes, they
saw no one, save Jesus only1.
They saw no one, save Jesus only. See Mark
17:9 And as they were coming down from the
mountain, Jesus commanded them1,
saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen from the dead.
Jesus commanded them, etc. See Mark
17:10 And his disciples asked him, saying,
Why then say the scribes that Elijah must first come1?
Why then say the scribes that Elijah must first come? See Mark
17:11 And he answered and said, Elijah
indeed cometh, and shall restore all things1:
Elijah indeed cometh, and shall restore all things, etc. See Mark
17:12 but I say into you, that
Elijah is come already1, and they knew him not, but did
unto him whatsoever they would. Even so shall the Son of man also suffer of
That Elijah is come already, etc. See Mark
17:14 And when
they were come to the multitude1, there came to him a man,
kneeling to him, saying,
THIRD WITHDRAWAL FROM HEROD'S TERRITORY. E. HEALING THE DEMONIAC BOY. (Region
of Caesarea Philippi.) Matthew
When they were come to the multitude. That is, when Jesus and the
multitude met. See Mark
17:20 And he saith unto them, Because
of your little faith1: for verily I say unto you, If
ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed2, ye shall say
unto this mountain3, Remove hence
to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
Because of your little faith. The failure of the disciples was not
because of any insufficiency of power in Jesus, but was due to their own
failure to appropriate that power by faith. The relation of belief and
unbelief to miraculous power is fully illustrated in Peter's attempt to walk
upon the waters (see Matthew
14:30). For comparison, see Mark
If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed. The mustard seed was
the proverbial type for the infinitely little. See Mark
4:32. Faith has such power with God that even little faith becomes
well-nigh omnipotent in an age of miracles.
This mountain. Mount Hermon.
17:22 And while they abode in Galilee,
Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be delivered
up into the hands of men1;
RETURN TO GALILEE. THE PASSION FORETOLD. Matthew
The Son of man shall be delivered up into the hands of men. See Mark
9:31. We have here two notes of time during which Jesus spoke of his
passion. It was all the while he was in Galilee, between his return from
Caesarea and his departure into Judea, for which see repeated, but was at a
time when the marvels of his works strengthened the faith of the disciples
so as to enable them to bear the instruction.
17:23 and they shall kill him, and the
third day he shall be raised up1. And
they were exceeding sorry2.
The third day he shall be raised up. See Matthew
And they were exceeding sorry. Peter's experience taught them not
to attempt to correct Jesus while thus speaking, so there was nothing left
for them but to grieve at his words.
17:24 And when they were come to
Capernaum, they that received the half-shekel came to Peter, and said, Doth
not your teacher pay the half-shekel1?
JESUS PAYS THE TRIBUTE MONEY. (Capernaum, Autumn, A.D. 29) Matthew
Doth not your teacher pay the half-shekel? The law of Moses
required from every male of twenty years and upward the payment of a tax of
half a shekel for the support of the temple (Exodus
30:12-16; 2 Chronicles
24:5,6). This tax was collected annually. We are told that a dispute
existed between the Pharisees and Sadducees as to whether the payment of
this tribute was voluntary or compulsory. The collectors of it may have
thought that Jesus regarded its payment as voluntary, or they may have
thought that Jesus considered himself exempt from it because he was so great
a rabbi. Though this temple tax was usually collected in March, Lightfoot
informs us that the payment of it was so irregular that its receivers kept
two chests; in one of which was placed the tax for the current year, and in
the other that for the year past. The demand was made upon Jesus at
Capernaum because that was his residence, and it was not made sooner because
of the wandering life which he led. It appears that since the first of April
he had been in Capernaum only once for a brief period, probably no longer
than a Sabbath day (John
6:22-24). The Jewish shekel answered to the Greek stater, which had been
variously estimated as worth from 50 to 75 cents. The stater contained four
drachmae, and a drachma was about equivalent to a Roman denarius, or 17
17:25 He saith,
Yea1. And when he came into the house, Jesus
spake first to him2, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon?
the kings of the earth, from whom do they receive toll or tribute? from their
sons, or from strangers?
He saith, Yea. Peter answered with his usual impulsive presumption.
Probably he had known the tribute to be paid before out of the general fund
held by Judas; or he may have assumed that Jesus would fulfill this as one
of God's requirements.
Jesus spake first to him. Without waiting for him to tell what he
17:26 And when he said, From strangers,
Jesus said unto him, Therefore the sons are free1.
Therefore the sons are free. The argument is this: If the sons of
kings are free from the payment of tribute, I, the Son of God, am free from
God's tribute. The half-shekel was regarded as given to God (Josephus, Ant.
17:27 But, lest
we cause them to stumble1, go
thou to the sea2, and cast a
hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up3; and when
thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a shekel: that take, and give unto
them for me and thee.
Lest we cause them to stumble. Lest we be totally misunderstood,
and be thought to teach that men should not pay this tribute to God.
Go thou to the sea. The Sea of Galilee.
And cast a hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up, etc.
Jesus paid the tribute in such a manner as to show that the whole realm of
nature was tributary to him, and that he was indeed the Son of the great
King. Some have thought that our Lord's beneficence, in paying Peter's tax
also, was an evidence that Peter, too, was exempt from tribute. But the
conclusion is not well drawn. Had this been intended, Jesus would have said
"for us", and would not have used the words "for me and
thee", which distinguished between the exempted Son and the unexempted
subject. Though afterward Peter might possibly have claimed exemption as a
child of God by adoption (John
1:12), he was not yet free from this duty to pay this tax.