Chapter 17

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17:1-8 Jesus did not take all His disciples everywhere He went. It is hard to be close to everyone. He had a special relationship with Peter, James and John. On this mountain Jesus was illuminated (metemorphothe) along with Moses and Elijah. Peter’s plans to erect three shrines for these three great men were made with the best of intentions, but nobody is on the same level as Jesus. This is my son…Listen to Him. Some today want to put others such as Mohammad or Buddha on the same plain as Jesus. He alone is the Savior of the world (John 14:6; Acts 4:12).
17:9-13 John the Baptist stated plainly he was not Elijah (John 1:21). He was not the reincarnation of Elijah, but he did come in the spirit of Elijah as the forerunner for Jesus (Mat 11:14).
17:14-23 While Peter, James and John were having an adventure on the mountain, the rest of the disciples were having an adventure of their own. Jesus gave them authority to drive out demons in 10:8, but they had failed to exorcise this demon. Jesus seemed to be upset with them, but He attributed His disappointment to that whole generation. After healing the boy He later explained to the apostles that their failure was because of puny faith (ogliopistis). He wanted them to have faith as a mustard seed, meaning faith that grows big regardless of how small it starts off (13:31-32). Your translation may have as small as but the Greek word for small does not appear in the text. Just using the word, as, would be a better rendering.
17:24-27 Peter was from Capernaum (8:14). He may have known this tax collector. He was able to answer confidently that Jesus paid the temple tax because this command was not from men but from God (Exodus 30:13; 38:26). As the Son of God, Jesus could easily have been exempted from this taxation which was for His Father, but it’s only money. Jesus provided the money for the tax in an unusual way. This is the only case in the Bible of someone fishing with a pole instead of a net. Notice also that Jesus was the first to speak when Peter entered the house. He already knew what Peter was going to talk to Him about.

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