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Matthew Henry's Commentary

Matthew Chapter 17

he transfiguration of Christ. (1-13) Jesus casts out a dumb and deaf spirit. (14-21) He again foretells his sufferings. (22,23) He works a miracle to pay the tribute money. (24-27)

Verses 1-13: Now the disciples beheld somewhat of Christ's glory, as of the only begotten of the Father. It was intended to support their faith, when they would have to witness his crucifixion; and would give them an idea of the glory prepared for them, when changed by his power and made like him. The apostles were overcome by the glorious sight. Peter thought that it was most desirable to continue there, and to go no more down to meet the sufferings of which he was so unwilling to hear. In this he knew not what he said. We are wrong, if we look for a heaven here upon earth. Whatever tabernacles we propose to make for ourselves in this world, we must always remember to ask Christ's leave. That sacrifice was not yet offered, without which the souls of sinful men could not have been saved; and important services were to be done by Peter and his brethren. While Peter spoke, a bright cloud overshadowed them, an emblem of the Divine presence and glory. Ever since man sinned, and heard God's voice in the garden, unusual appearances of God have been terrible to man. They fell prostrate to the earth, till Jesus encouraged them; when looking round, they beheld only their Lord as they commonly saw him. We must pass through varied experiences in our way to glory; and when we return to the world after an ordinance, it must be our care to take Christ with us, and then it may be our comfort that he is with us.

Verses 14-21: The case of afflicted children should be presented to God by faithful and fervent prayer. Christ cured the child. Though the people were perverse, and Christ was provoked, yet care was taken of the child. When all other helps and succours fail, we are welcome to Christ, may trust in him, and in his power and goodness. See here an emblem of Christ's undertaking as our Redeemer. It encourages parents to bring children to Christ, whose souls are under Satan's power; he is able to heal them, and as willing as he is able. Not only bring them to Christ by prayer, but bring them to the word of Christ; to means by which Satan's strong-holds in the soul are beaten down. It is good for us to distrust ourselves and our own strength; but it is displeasing to Christ when we distrust any power derived from him, or granted by him. There was also something in the malady which rendered the cure difficult. The extraordinary power of Satan must not discourage our faith, but quicken us to more earnestness in praying to God for the increase of it. Do we wonder to see Satan's bodily possession of this young man from a child, when we see his spiritual possession of every son of Adam from the fall!

Verse 22,23: Christ perfectly knew all things that should befall him, yet undertook the work of our redemption, which strongly shows his love. What outward debasement and Divine glory was the life of the Redeemer! And all his humiliation ended in his exaltation. Let us learn to endure the cross, to despise riches and worldly honours, and to be content with his will.

Verses 24-27: Peter felt sure that his Master was ready to do what was right. Christ spoke first to give him proof that no thought can be withholden from him. We must never decline our duty for fear of giving offence; but we must sometimes deny ourselves in our worldly interests, rather than give offence. However the money was lodged in the fish, He who knows all things alone could know it, and only almighty power could bring it to Peter's hook. The power and the poverty of Christ should be mentioned together. If called by providence to be poor, like our Lord, let us trust in his power, and our God shall supply all our need, according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. In the way of obedience, in the course, perhaps, of our usual calling, as he helped Peter, so he will help us. And if any sudden call should occur, which we are not prepared to meet, let us not apply to others, till we first seek Christ.

 


David Burnette's Life Application

Do You Have Faith?

 Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the book of Matthew with Chapter 17. In our text today we see Jesus transfigured, His healing of the demon-possessed boy, His prediction of Calvary, and the coin in the fish's mouth. What catches my eye is verse 20 where the Lord speaks of the power of faith as he says our little faith can move Mountains. In making application we see that our faith in the Lord will produce great victories in our lives. We simply must trust the Lord believing Him and we will see Him do great an mighty things in our lives. How about You? Do you have faith in your current circumstances? Let us learn from our text today and the example that our Lord gives us to see that our faith opens the door for the Lord to great and mighty things in our lives.

 

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Matthew 17

Matthew 17

 1And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,

 2And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.

 3And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.

 4Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.

 5While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.

 6And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.

 7And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid.

 8And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.

 9And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.

 10And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?

 11And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.

 12But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.

 13Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.

 14And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying,

 15Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.

 16And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.

 17Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.

 18And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.

 19Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?

 20And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

 21Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

 22And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men:

 23And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry.

 24And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute?

 25He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers?

 26Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free.

 27Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.