Matthew 17:1-23 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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The Transfiguration of Jesus
Comments for Study 22

Matthew 17:1-23
Memory Verse: 2


I. The Transfiguration of Jesus (1-13)

>1. Where did Jesus go and who did he take with him?

* "After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves." (1)

* Jesus' transfiguration is also recorded in Luke 9:28-26 and Mark 9:2-13. John does not record this event.

* Jesus promised this in Matthew 16:28.

* The three gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) that record this event puts it with Peter's confession and Jesus directive of carrying our cross. Without the promise of the glory to come, the cross of suffering means little.

* "After six days..." -This is six days after Peter's confession that Jesus is "the Christ, the Son of the Living God." Luke says, "About eight days after..." -Counting the confession as day one, then six days where nothing is recorded, and the present being the seventh per Matthew 17:1 and Mark 9:2, then it was "about" eight days after; not quite eight days. Or simply Luke indicates he was not sure of the count.

* Jesus gave the disciples six days to think about the confession before he revealed himself.

* "up onto a mountain" -Mount Hermon ("devoted mountain") has three summits, about 1/4 mile (1/2km) from each other. Its huge mass 11,000 feet (3 350m) high and 5 miles (8km) wide and 16 to 20 miles (26 to 32km) from north to south is visible for miles around. The upper slopes remain snowcapped virtually all year, as indicated by the Amorite name for the mountain, Senir (or Shenir), meaning "snow mountain." It was known as 'Sirion' among the Phoenicians and the Arabs call it Jebel el-Sheikh, the "grey haired mountain," or Jebel el-Thalj, the "mountain of the snow." Its Hebrew name, "Chermown" ("sanctuary"), may allude to the fact that since ancient times it has been a sacred mountain. The mountain was also called "Baal-Hermon" (Judges 3:3) in the time of Joshua and the Judges, indicating a local Baal was worshiped there (as was the case with many high places).

Mount Hermon has been described as a giant sponge with many scattered cavities (dolinas) that collect huge volumes of snow. They are the last areas to melt in the spring and they emerge at the base of the mountain in a series of abundant springs that form the three main sources of the Jordan River. These springs also feed the Litani River as well as the Oasis of Damascus. In clear weather, Mount Hermon is visible from great distances. It dominates the landscape. From the Mediterranean coast to the Jordan Valley, the snow-capped mass forms the one permanent feature on the northern horizon of Israel. In biblical times the slopes were apparently covered in thick forests. While in exile, David reflected on the depths of the Jordan and the heights of Hermon. They were for him symbols of the source and extent of God's blessing, His love and protection (Psalm 42:5-11; Psalm 133:3).

Hula Valley with Mount Herman in background

* The picture to the right is of the Hula Valley with Mount Herman in the background.

* Jesus going to solitary places like mountains to be alone with God in prayer was routine for Jesus.

* Jesus not only went up the mountain to pray but also because he planned to reveal himself to only three of his disciples, not to all people. This revelation was only for his disciple, and of them only three. Something only a few can see.

>Why do you think he took only these disciples?

* Possible reasons Jesus only choose these three are:
    1) They were the top disciples. Those he chose to be the leaders. They would later be called pillars of the Jerusalem church (Gal. 2:9).
    2) The law requires "...out of the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every work be established." (Deut. 19:15)
    3) Jesus needed his Father's intervention to plant his words in his disciples hearts. The disciples had their own strong ideas about what it meant to follow Jesus and who he was. After his transfiguration they really had to think how great Jesus was. Revelation 1:17 records that when John saw the resurrected Jesus in his glory the next time, he fell as though dead.
    4) They were one fourth of the twelve. Similarly, only one fourth of the four soils produced fruit in the parable of the sower (Matthew 4:1-20).
    5) Jesus set up a hierarchy of: three among the twelve, twelve among the seventy-two, seventy-two among all the rest of the followers.

* Jesus loved all of the disciples. However, because of God's calling and will he chose only three to reveal his pre-incarnate glory.

Jesus' transfiguration

>2. Describe the transfigured Jesus.

* "There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light." (2)

* Luke 9:28 reveals that Jesus was praying when he was transformed. Mark and Matthew do not mention this.

* "transfigured" -The substance of his body remained the same, but the appearance of it was greatly altered. I've heard and read people saying that his glory was always in his body, but now it shown through his body. The word transfigured does not allow for that understanding. The Greek word is "metamorphoo", the word we get metamorphosis from. So, the word "transfigured" can also be translated "metamorphosed". The apostles later wrote that we will be like him, and we will all be changed. (Romans 6:5; and 1 John 3:2; and 1 Corinthians 15:51-52)

* Jesus' transfiguration reveals:
    1) His glory before he became flesh
    2) The glory he would have after his resurrection
    3) The glory that comes after bearing the cross
    4) He is right, his teachings are true, and should be paid attention to
    5) The spiritual world.

* Matthew 17:2 and Mark 9:2 use the Greek word "metamorpho" meaning transfigured. The substance of his body remained the same, but the appearance of it was greatly altered. I've heard and read people saying that his glory was always in his body, but now it shown through his body. The word transfigured does not allow for that understanding. The Greek word is "metamorphoo", the word we get metamorphosis from. So, the word "transfigured" can also be translated "metamorphosed". The apostles later wrote that we will be like him, and we will all be changed. (Romans 6:5; and 1 John 3:2; and 1 Corinthians 15:51-52)

* The glory came from within him, not a light shining on him. That which was hidden was revealed as a curtain was drawn open and the light from within was let out. (29)

* He was not turned into a spirit, but his body, which had appeared in weakness and dishonour, now appeared in power and glory.

* "God is light." (1 John 1:5), "dwells in light" (1 Tim. 6:16), and "wraps himself in light" (Ps. 104:2).

* The face of Moses shown as the moon, a mere reflection. But Jesus shown like the sun.

* Moses shine was not powerful so that a veil could hid it, But Jesus shined so much that even "his clothes became as white as the light."

* I wrote more about Jesus' glory in the manuscript The Believer's Future - Hope that Inspires.

>How does this image of Jesus contrast with the Jesus whom the disciples knew?

* Jesus' normal appearance is described in Isaiah 53:2-3 states, "He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not."

"Tender shoot" means it was as if he could be broken easily. He looked frail. "A root out of dry ground" means he was scrawny and wrinkled.

Jesus was poor, so he was probably skinny. He got little sleep and people were always coming to him. He was outdoors a lot so his face was probably sun and wind burned, probably course looking.

Jesus normally was just like them is appearance. He wore clothes that were travelled in. He was dusty from the trips they took.

>What does this transfiguration teach about who Jesus is? (cf. Rev. 1:13-16)

* Revelation 1:13-16 "and among the lamp stands was someone 'like a son of man,' dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. his head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance."

* Jesus is God. The Son of God. In the image of God, in his likeness. He is in very nature God.

* Jesus was the one calling to Moses when the bush that burned but was not consumed.

* Jesus was the column of smoke by day and fire by night, the glory that come down on the tent when the Lord spoke to Moses. Jesus was the Lord who came on Mount Sinai with fire, smoke and lightning. (Ex. 19)

* Jesus shown with the glory of the Lord when the temple was filled with so much smoke that the Levites could not go into it.

* Ezekiel 8:2 states, "I looked, and I saw a figure like that of a man. From what appeared to be his waist down he was like fire, and from there up his appearance was as bright as glowing metal."

>Why was it important for them to have this glorious image of Jesus in their hearts?

* They were to be witnesses to who he is to the people later. (2 Peter 1:16-18)

* They would also be witnesses to him on the cross. (John 19:35) The contrast was needed. This was to prepare them for that.

* The cross and resurrection glory go together.

* John 1:14 testified, "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth."

* John, Peter, and James understood when Jesus said, "And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began." (John 17:5)

>3. With whom was the transfigured Jesus talking?

* "Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus." (3)

* Those who fall asleep in Christ will not perish, but are alive.

* 1 Corinthians 15 says that we will get resurrections bodies when Jesus comes again. This does not mean that we won't exist before that time and after we die.

* This is our first glimpse of the glorious future of Jesus and the glorious future of his believers, his bride. This is the first glimpse of a resurrection body, for Jesus is the first to have one. That is why he is called the firstborn. (Rom. 8:29, Col. 1:15-18, Heb. 1:6, 11:29, 12:23, Rev. 1:5) Like him, Jesus' bride will have a resurrected body. Jesus bride is not now as we will be for we will be changed. (1 Cor. 15:52)

>What do you know about Moses and Elijah?

* "Moses" -Moses is a humble man of God. Moses was the deliverer for the Israelites from the slavery in Egypt. Through Moses God gave the ten commandments, as well as the other laws recorded in the first five books of the Bible. Moses prayed for the Israelites many times, sometimes even saving them from God's wrath through humble prayer. Moses asked that he would receive the punishment instead of them. He meet God face to face in the tent of meeting.

Deuteronomy 34:5-7 records Moses' departure from earth, "And Moses the servant of the Lord died there in Moab, as the Lord had said. He buried him in Moab, in the valley opposite Beth Peor, but to this day no one knows where his grave is. Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone."

* "Elijah" -Elijah was a persecuted man of God who represents the prophets and their books. Elijah was the prophet of God during the time when the Israelites were turning to Baal worship. He challenged the people and their leaders to repent and turn from idols and worship God. He prayed and the rain stopped for three years. He prayed again and it rained. He prayed by faith and fire came down from heaven which was God's testimony that he is the one and only true God. He meet God in a cave.

2 Kings 2:11-12 records Elijah's departure from earth, "As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. Elisha saw this and cried out, "My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!" And Elisha saw him no more. Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them apart."

>What did each have in common with Jesus?

* They fasted forty days and nights as Jesus did.

* They did miracles as Jesus did.

* They were leaders of the people of Israel.

* They preached the word of God but not many accepted their message, that is their hearers rebelled against it.

* They were men of God; suffering servants, men who carried their cross and are now glorified.

* Moses and Elijah talked with God on a mountain.

* Moses and Elijah wrote God's words down.

* They worked to turn the people to God, they taught the word of God.

* They lived sacrificially.

>What is the significance of their appearance with Jesus here?

* Matthew 5:17 records Jesus teaching, "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them."

* In them the Law and the prophets honored Christ.

* They were witnesses to who Jesus is.

* They talked about Jesus crucifixion as if it was nothing new to them. (Luke 9:31b)

* The law shows the need for a Messiah and the prophets teach about the glorious Messiah who was coming, and is now before the disciples.

* The Law, the first five books and the prophets' books tell all about Jesus. (Luke 24:44; John 1:45) Click here for a list of prophecies Jesus fulfilled.

>4. How did Peter respond?

* Matthew 17:4 "Peter said to Jesus, 'Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters-one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.'"

* "Lord" -The original Greek word here is "Kyrios" which can also be translated as Master.

* "one for Moses and one for Elijah" -The disciple know it was Moses and Elijah by either:
    1) the two's conversation with Jesus
    2) by talking to Moses and Elijah themselves
    3) Jesus told them it was Moses and Elijah.

>What does this show about his inner mind?

* "it is good for us to be here" -Peter liked the experience greatly. He didn't want to leave. He wanted to stay there long enough so that shelters were needed.

* They were delighted. The loved the moment. Peter did say, "If you wish..." He would do it only if Jesus wanted him too. Peter wanted to stay there a long time. Peter's words were a mixture of weakness and good will; more zeal than discretion. Peter was interpreting this as the beginning of Jesus' kingdom. Peter didn't mention building a shelter for James, John and himself probably out of respect.

* The higher one goes up a mountain the colder and windier it gets. We don't know how long they talked, but perhaps it was long enough for it to be to cold for Peter.

* "shelters" -Peter's words were a little ignorant for what need did Elijah and Moses have for a shelter. From what should they be sheltered from.

* Luke 9:33, "(He did not know what he was saying.)"

* Jesus had just taught them seven days ago that he was going to suffer and be killed. Why then would he need to build a shelter to stay there?

* Moses and Elijah was encouraging Jesus about going to Jerusalem. Peter wanted Jesus to stay away from Jerusalem. Though he did not know it, Peter was encouraging Jesus to not fulfill the Scriptures. Jesus' death and resurrection had to be in Jerusalem during the next soon to come Passover and Feast of the Sheaf Wave.

* Peter was not accepting Moses and Elijah talking about going to Jerusalem.

* There was no reply to what he said from Jesus.

>5. What is significant about the bright cloud? (cf. 1 Kings 8:10, 11; and 2 Chron. 5:13, 14)

* Matthew 17:5 "While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said..."

* "bright cloud" -The original Greek for "bright" is "photeinos" and the original Greek for "cloud" is "nephele".

* "a bright cloud enveloped them" -The bright cloud hides the presence of God. When God descends he descends on clouds as if they were his chariot or car. God come down in a cloud so he is hidden from us. We are to sinful to gaze upon him. If we did we would feel like dying.

* "When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the LORD. And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled his temple." (1 Kings 8:10,11) "The trumpeters and singers joined in unison, as with one voice, to give praise and thanks to the LORD. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, they raised their voices in praise to the LORD and sang: 'He is good; his love endures forever.' Then the temple of the LORD was filled with a cloud." (2 Chronicles 5:13-14)

* "Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the Lord descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, the whole mountain trembled violently, and the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder. Then Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him." (Ex. 19:18-19)

* "Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Moses could not enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud had settled upon it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle." (Ex. 40:34-35)

* "Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke with him, and he took of the Spirit that was on him and put the Spirit on the seventy elders. When the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied, but they did not do so again." (Num. 11:25)

* Deuteronomy 29:29 states God is a God of mystery. "The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law."

>Whose was the voice that spoke?

* "this is my Son" -God the Father spoke.

* Jesus is, was, will always be God's One and Only Son. We have been adopted into God's family through Jesus, the Son.

>What did he tell the disciples about Jesus?

* "'This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.'" (5a)

* This was the same that was spoken when he was baptized. (Matthew 3:17)

* The virgin birth is confirmed with the statement, "this is my Son."

* "whom I love" -Love requires a recipient and a provider.

* God wanted the disciples to know just who Jesus really is.

* The Holy Spirit testifies to us who Jesus is. (John 16:8-11, 14:26)

>What did he tell them to do?

"'Listen to him!'" (5b)

* "I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speakers in my name, I myself will call him to account." (Deuteronomy 18:18-19)

* Hearing is not the same as accepting and listening.

* James 1:21-22 "Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says."

* We should listen to everything that Jesus says and pay attention to everything he does because he alone is the Son of God.

* For us today "listening to Jesus" is studying the Bible and prayer.


* Because they were hearing him, but not listening to him. They were not thinking about what he said.

* They were listening to the wrong people. (10)

* Sometimes we need God's rebuke.

* God's rebuke can wake us up.

* God was saying give up your own ideas on who Jesus was and what the Messiah is suppose to do and understand the Scriptures and listen to Jesus.

* Many today are like the disciples. They follow Jesus without listening to him. They hold onto their own ideas. They do not read, study, accept and obey the Bible.

>How did they respond?

* "When the disciples heard this, they fell face down to the ground, terrified." (6)

* "terrified" -Fear of God is fear of his righteous judgement and it is a good thing. Fear of God is a gift of God to those who stubbornly hold onto their own sinful ways and ideas. The Fear of God can lead to repentance.

* Just as Adam and Eve were terrified when they heard God in the Garden and hid after they had sinned.

* God came down the mountain in a display of power so that the Israelites would obey the law and not sin. (Exodus 19:16-25)

* Hebrews 12:28-29 states, "Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our "God is a consuming fire."

>How did Jesus help them?

"But Jesus came and touched them. 'Get up,' he said. 'Don't be afraid.' When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus. As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, "Don't tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead." (7-9)

* Jesus' approach banished their fears of judgement.

* Fears can be banished with Jesus' touch and words.

* Jesus comforts and encourages us. He gives us life and strength.

* Jesus didn't rebuke them because they had accepted and would grow to understand who he is based on this revelation.

* "they saw no one except Jesus" -The Law and the Prophets will disappear, but Jesus always remains.

* Jesus is the fulfillment of the law an prophets. In the end his word prevails. In the end he is all that matters. In the end it is all about him.

* "Don't tell anyone" -Jesus didn't tell them to lie, just to keep what they had seen and heard until the time was right to expose the truth. They needed to keep it a secret because the people needed to believe by faith.

>6. Why did they ask Jesus about Elijah? (10; cf. Mal. 4:5-6)

* "The disciples asked him, 'Why then do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first.'" (10)

* "See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. He will turn the hears of the fathers to their children, and the hears of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.'" (Malachi 4:5-6)

* Jesus had already told them that John the Baptist was the Elijah who was to come. (Matt. 11:14-15)

>How did Jesus answer?

* "Jesus replied, 'To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.'" (11-12)

* The Pharisees thought they were right about Jesus because they didn't see Elijah. The fact is he came and they did not accept him either.

* Jesus confirmed it again so that they would not be confused again.

>Who was he talking about?

* "Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist." (13)

* God continually reveals himself to people. However, if we don't want to see we won't.

>How did Jesus use this discussion to again teach about the work of the Messiah?

* "In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands."

* Jesus used the opportunity to teach about his suffering again.

II. The Strength of Faith (14-23)

>7. Who was at the foot of the mountain?

* * "When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. 'Lord, have mercy on my son,' he said. 'He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.'" (14-16)

* "When they came to the crowd" -A crowd of people were at the base of the mountain. It seems wherever Jesus went a crowd was soon to gather.

* Matthew does not record that the nine disciples were arguing with the teachers of the law. Mark 9:14 does. The disciples and the teachers of the law arguing would have drawn a crowd who were probably looking for Jesus or who lived in the area.

* The other disciples were lost and embarrassed without Jesus.

* Matthew does not record that the man stated his son had a spirit. Mark 9:17-18 and Luke 9:38-40 do.

>Why had a crowd gathered?

* "a man approached Jesus and knelt before Him" -A man brought his son who was demon possessed. Each of the remaining nine disciples of Jesus had been trying to cast the demon out, but they could not.

* After his transformation he came down the mountain and help a man and his son. To the three disciples who had been with him, after witnessing such glory, the state of mankind's world must have looked dark and bleak. As our spiritual image improves and allows us to see and understand god better, we will also be able to see and understand evil better. We would be overcome by its horro if we did not have jesus with us to take us through it safely.

* "I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him." -The other disciples were lost and embarrassed without Jesus.

>How did one man approach Jesus?

* "knelt before him" -Humility and respect.

* "have mercy on my son" -Mercy is compassion to those under one's power and authority.

>What was his problem?

* His boy was demon possessed. Matthew does not state it, but Mark and Luke do. The demon caused him to have seizures and suffer greatly. Many times the boy fell into the fire and water.

* The reason the demon caused the boy to fall in the fire and water was to cause the father to have fear and to kill the boy.

* Satan only wants to destroy us and bring misery into our lives. He is not our friend, confidant, nor ally. Satan hates every man because God's favor has left him and is on mankind.

* The father brought the affliction of his son to God's son.

* The demon caused the boy to have problems. To many people today are influenced and inflicted by demons.

>How had the disciples at the foot of the mountain compounded the problem?

* They tried to cast the demon out but could not.

* Jesus had given them authority to cast out demons, just as he had given it to us. (5:1, 8) They previously had been successful. (5:17)

* Why did God permit this?
    1) to humble the disciple
    2) To show who Jesus is
    3) To show their dependants on him
    4) To glorify Jesus.

* They had depended on their power (19) and past victory.

>8. What did Jesus say to them?

* "'O unbelieving and perverse generation,' Jesus replied, 'How long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.'" (17)

* "unbelieving" -The original Greek is "apistos" meaning faithless, infidel, and unbelieving.

* They did not have faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God. (Hebrews 11:6)

* Jesus exclamation that they were "unbelieving" tells us that faith in God is the key to spiritual power. Faith is not in a vague sense of God, but faith that is active and alive.

* Unbelief is the cause of man's social problems. Martyn Lloyd-Jones wrote in his book The Plight of Man and the Power of God, “Nothing but a belief in God and a desire to glorify Him, based upon our realization of our utter dependence upon Him and our acceptance of His way of life and salvation in Jesus Christ His Son, can ever lead to a good society. This is not merely a dogmatic statement. It can be proved and demonstrated repeatedly in the history of mankind.”

>What is a "perverse generation"?

* "perverse" -In the original Greek "perverse" is "diastrepho" meaning, "Obstinately persisting in an error or a fault; wrongly self-willed or stubborn in sin and unbelief."

* "generation" -Jesus, the Messiah was before them and yet they did not believe and repent.

* This was said to the crowd and the teachers of the law, and probably also the disciples. (Matthew 17:20)

* Jesus was patient with them even though he would soon suffer. (Acts 13:18)

>Why is unbelief such a tragedy?

* Unbelief is tragic because if we don't believe we cannot help our generation.

* Without faith we can not please God. (Hebrews 11:6)

* Unbelief in God and his Son increases Satan's dominion and power. That is why he continually works to keep people from God.

* Unbelief means defeat.

>9. What did the disciples think when they saw Jesus cast out the demon?

* "Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment. Then the disciple came to Jesus in private and asked, 'Why couldn't we drive it out?'" (18-19)

* "demon" -The original Greek is "daimonion".

* More information about demon possession can be found in Matthew 17 commentary concerning a demon possessed man and Jesus' response to the Pharisees accusing him of being on Satan's side. Click here to go there.

* "Jesus rebuked the demon" -Jesus has all power. He was not rebuking the boy, the father, the crowd, or the disciples. He rebuked the evil spirit.

* "rebuke" -The original Greek is "epitimao" meaning "a strong reprove, charge and rebuke" and "to strongly voice or convey disapproval of and find fault with". Today many believe that rebuke has only negative overtones believing it is wrong to criticize others lifestyle. "Live and let live" is there mantra. It's impossible to say, "My position is to have no position." and "We should not get involved." When Jesus was invited to solve a problem he got involved. When the problem involved rebuking evil spirits, he did so.

* "he was healed from that moment" -Though Jesus is angry, he is never unkind.

>What did they ask Jesus?

* "'Why couldn't we drive it out?'" -The nine disciples had no spiritual power.

* "private" -They must have been ashamed, dumb founded, confused, and humiliated because they asked Jesus this question in private. they must have also been relieved that they were shown right.

* If we fail it is good to ask Jesus why. We need to have a learning mind.

* If something doesn't go right we should search ourself and see our sin and unbelief. (1 Sam. 14:38)

>What did he teach them about their real problem?

* "'He replied, 'Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.'" (20)

* Some manuscripts have verse 21, "But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting." (NIV Bible's sub note.)

* "Because you have so little faith" -Indicating that Jesus earlier rebuke could have been directed at the disciples as much as everyone else there.

>What can we learn about the power of faith? (cf. Heb. 11:24, 25, 29)

* "'I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.'" (21)

* "By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time." (Hebrews 11:24-5)

* "By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.'" (Hebrews 11:29)

* Jesus was straight forward.

* They couldn't rely on themselves.

* They learned what it would be like without Jesus.

* When difficult things come we need to fast and pray. These are reliance on Jesus.

>10. What did Jesus re-emphasize about his own mission as the Messiah?

* "When they came together in Galilee, he said to them, 'The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and on the third say he will be raised to life.'" (22-23)

* After the victory Jesus' highest priority was to help his disciples.

>Why would the glorious image of Jesus be especially necessary for the disciples to keep in their hearts?

* In the time of his suffering this would encourage them.

* The battle we fight is a spiritual battle, not against flesh and blood. It is a hard battle full of trials and suffering. We need to keep our eyes on the goal set before us.

>The way of the world and taxes.

* Matthew 17:24-27 states when the left the mountain they went to Capernaum. "After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax came to Peter and asked, "Doesn't your teacher pay the temple tax?" "Yes, he does," he replied. When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. "What do you think, Simon?" he asked. "From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes--from their own sons or from others?" "From others," Peter answered. "Then the sons are exempt," Jesus said to him. But so that we may not offend them, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours."