Matthew 17 J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)
Three disciples glimpse the glory of Christ
17 1-3 Six days later Jesus chose Peter, James and his brother John, to accompany him high up on the hill-side where they were quite alone. There his whole appearance changed before their eyes, his face shining like the sun and his clothes as white as light. Then Moses and Elijah were seen talking to Jesus.
4 “Lord,” exclaimed Peter, “it is wonderful for us to be here! If you like I could put up three shelters, one each for you and Moses and Elijah——”
5 But while he was still talking a bright cloud overshadowed them and a voice came out of the cloud: “This is my dearly loved Son in whom I am well pleased. Listen to him!”
6-7 When they heard this voice the disciples fell on their faces, overcome with fear. Then Jesus came up to them and touched them.
8 “Get up and don’t be frightened,” he said. And as they raised their eyes there was no one to be seen but Jesus himself.
9-10 On their way down the hill-side Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about what they had seen until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead. Then the disciples demanded, “Why is it, then, that the scribes always say Elijah must come first?”
11-12 “Yes, Elijah does come first,” replied Jesus, “and begins the world’s reformation. But I tell you that Elijah has come already and men did not recognise him. They did what they liked with him, and they will do the same to the Son of Man.”
13 Then they realised that he had been referring to John the Baptist.
Jesus heals an epileptic boy
14-16 When they returned to the crowds again a man came and knelt in front of Jesus. “Lord, do have pity on my son,” he said, “for he is a lunatic and is in a terrible state. He is always falling into the fire or into the water. I did bring him to your disciples but they couldn’t cure him.”
17 “You really are an unbelieving and difficult people,” Jesus returned. “How long must I be with you, and how long must I put up with you? Bring him here to me!”
18 Then Jesus reprimanded the evil spirit and it went out of the boy, who was cured from that moment.
19 Afterwards the disciples approached Jesus privately and asked, “Why weren’t we able to get rid of it?”
20-21 “Because you have so little faith,” replied Jesus. “I assure you that if you have as much faith as a grain of mustard-seed you can say to this hill, ‘Up you get and move over there!’ and it will move—you will find nothing is impossible.” “However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting”
22-23 As they went about together in Galilee, Jesus told them, “The Son of Man is going to be handed over to the power of men, and they will kill him. And on the third day he will be raised to life again.” This greatly distressed the disciples.
Jesus pays the Temple-tax—in an unusual way
24 Then when they arrived at Capernaum the Temple tax-collectors came up and said to Peter, “Your master doesn’t pay Temple-tax, we presume?”
25 “Oh, yes, he does!” replied Peter. Later when he went into the house Jesus anticipated what he was going to say. “What do you think, Simon?” he said. “Whom do the kings of this world get their rates and taxes from—their own people or from others?”
26 “From others,” replied Peter.
27 “Then the family is exempt,” Jesus told him. “Yet we don’t want to give offence to these people, so go down to the lake and throw in your hook. Take the first fish that bites, open his mouth and you’ll find a coin. Take that and give it to them, for both of us.”