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Matthew  ◦   Chapter 17

1 Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and the two brothers — James and John — and led them up a high mountain where they could be alone.2 There, the veil was pulled back and his divine glory shone through the cloak of his humanity. His face shone bright like the sun, and his clothes radiated intense white light.3 And in his fiery presence stood Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.

4 "Lord," Peter exclaimed, "this is awesome, and we are glad to be here to see it! If you want, I will put up three shelters–one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah."

5 But while Peter was still speaking, a brilliant cloud settled over them and a voice from within the cloud said, "This is my Son. I love him and am absolutely pleased with him, so listen to him!"

6 When the disciples heard the voice, they were frightened, and fell face down on the ground.7 But Jesus came and touched them, saying, "Get up: there is no reason to be afraid."8 When they lifted their heads and looked up, they saw only Jesus.

9 On their way down the mountain, Jesus told them, "Be sure you don't tell anyone about what you saw until after the Son of Man rises from the dead."

10 His disciples asked him, "Why do the Bible teachers always say that Elijah must come first?"

11 Jesus replied, "Absolutely. Elijah comes to prepare the way.12 But let me tell you straight, the Elijah messenger has already come; but the church leaders did not recognize him, and they led the people to reject and mistreat him. The Son of Man will suffer in the same way at their hands."13 Then they realized that he was talking about John the Baptist.

14 As they came to a crowd, a man knelt down before Jesus15 and said, "Lord, please take pity on my son and heal him. He has seizures that cause terrible suffering. He often gets injured, sometimes falling into the fire or water.16 I brought him to your disciples, but they couldn't heal him."

17 With disappointment, Jesus said, "How sad. What a confused and superstitious people you are. How long will I need to be with you before you understand? How long must I endure your suffering? Bring the boy to me."18 Jesus commanded the evil spirit to leave the boy, and the child was instantly healed.

19 The disciples waited until they were alone with Jesus, then asked, "Why couldn't we heal the boy?"

20 Jesus, looking toward the Temple Mount, replied: "You failed because your confidence in God is so weak, and you are still blinded by misunderstanding. I tell you plainly, if your trust in God was even as much as a mustard seed, you could let go of your attachment to the Temple Mount and say to the mount 'Away with you,' and the symbolic rituals would no longer hold you back; you could do anything you want!21 But this type of evil is only overcome by talking with my Father."

22 When they arrived in Galilee, Jesus said to them, "The Son of Man will be betrayed and turned over to human authorities.23 They will kill him, but on the third day he will destroy death and arise to life." The disciples were deeply distraught.

24 When Jesus and the disciples were in Capernaum, local tax collectors confronted Peter about the tax, which was worth two day's wages, asking: "Doesn't your teacher support the temple and pay the temple tax?"

25 Peter impulsively replied, "Of course he does." Then, when Peter went into the house, Jesus asked him, "Simon, tell me what you think. From whom do the kings of the earth collect taxes: from their own children, or from others?"

26 "From others, of course," Peter replied.

Jesus looked at him and said,
"Then the king's children are exempt;27 but to avoid unnecessary conflict on a side-issue, go to the lake and throw out your fishing line. Take the first fish you catch, open its mouth, and you will find a large coin. Use it to pay for my tax and yours."