The Message

Matthew 17

Sunlight Poured from His Face

11-3 Six days later, three of them saw that glory. Jesus took Peter and the brothers, James and John, and led them up a high mountain. His appearance changed from the inside out, right before their eyes. Sunlight poured from his face. His clothes were filled with light. Then they realized that Moses and Elijah were also there in deep conversation with him.

Peter broke in, “Master, this is a great moment! What would you think if I built three memorials here on the mountain—one for you, one for Moses, one for Elijah?”

While he was going on like this, babbling, a light-radiant cloud enveloped them, and sounding from deep in the cloud a voice: “This is my Son, marked by my love, focus of my delight. Listen to him.”

6-8 When the disciples heard it, they fell flat on their faces, scared to death. But Jesus came over and touched them. “Don’t be afraid.” When they opened their eyes and looked around all they saw was Jesus, only Jesus.

Coming down the mountain, Jesus swore them to secrecy. “Don’t breathe a word of what you’ve seen. After the Son of Man is raised from the dead, you are free to talk.”

10 The disciples, meanwhile, were asking questions. “Why do the religion scholars say that Elijah has to come first?”

11-13 Jesus answered, “Elijah does come and get everything ready. I’m telling you, Elijah has already come but they didn’t know him when they saw him. They treated him like dirt, the same way they are about to treat the Son of Man.” That’s when the disciples realized that all along he had been talking about John the Baptizer.

With a Mere Kernel of Faith

14-16 At the bottom of the mountain, they were met by a crowd of waiting people. As they approached, a man came out of the crowd and fell to his knees begging, “Master, have mercy on my son. He goes out of his mind and suffers terribly, falling into seizures. Frequently he is pitched into the fire, other times into the river. I brought him to your disciples, but they could do nothing for him.”

17-18 Jesus said, “What a generation! No sense of God! No focus to your lives! How many times do I have to go over these things? How much longer do I have to put up with this? Bring the boy here.” He ordered the afflicting demon out—and it was out, gone. From that moment on the boy was well.

19 When the disciples had Jesus off to themselves, they asked, “Why couldn’t we throw it out?”

20 “Because you’re not yet taking God seriously,” said Jesus. “The simple truth is that if you had a mere kernel of faith, a poppy seed, say, you would tell this mountain, ‘Move!’ and it would move. There is nothing you wouldn’t be able to tackle.”

22-23 As they were regrouping in Galilee, Jesus told them, “The Son of Man is about to be betrayed to some people who want nothing to do with God. They will murder him—and three days later he will be raised alive.” The disciples felt terrible.

24 When they arrived at Capernaum, the tax men came to Peter and asked, “Does your teacher pay taxes?”

25 Peter said, “Of course.”

But as soon as they were in the house, Jesus confronted him. “Simon, what do you think? When a king levies taxes, who pays—his children or his subjects?”

26-27 He answered, “His subjects.”

Jesus said, “Then the children get off free, right? But so we don’t upset them needlessly, go down to the lake, cast a hook, and pull in the first fish that bites. Open its mouth and you’ll find a coin. Take it and give it to the tax men. It will be enough for both of us.”

Chinese Contemporary Bible (Traditional)

馬太福音 17


1六天後,耶穌帶著彼得、雅各和雅各的兄弟約翰暗暗地登上一座高山。 耶穌在他們面前改變了形像,面貌如太陽一樣發光,衣服潔白如光。 忽然,摩西和以利亞一起出現,跟耶穌談話。 彼得對耶穌說:「主啊,我們在這裡好極了。如果你願意,我就在這裡搭三座帳篷,一座給你,一座給摩西,一座給以利亞。」


門徒聽見這聲音,便俯伏在地,非常懼怕。 耶穌就過來摸他們,說:「起來吧,別害怕。」 他們抬起頭來,看見只剩下耶穌一個人。


10 門徒問耶穌:「律法教師為什麼說以利亞必須先來?」

11 耶穌回答說:「以利亞的確要來,他將復興一切。 12 但我告訴你們,以利亞已經來了,人們卻不認識他,甚至還任意對待他。人子同樣也會在他們手下受苦。」 13 門徒這才明白耶穌所說的是指施洗者約翰。


14 他們回到山下眾人聚集的地方。有一個人過來跪在耶穌跟前,說: 15 「主啊!救救我的兒子吧!他患了癲癇症,痛苦極了,曾經幾次跌進火中,掉進水裡。 16 我帶他去見你的門徒,但他們卻不能治好他。」

17 耶穌說:「唉!這世代又不信又敗壞的人啊,我要跟你們在一起待多久?我要容忍你們多久呢?把他帶來吧。」 18 耶穌斥責附在孩子身上的鬼,鬼就離開了那孩子,從此他就好了。

19 事後,門徒私下問耶穌:「我們為什麼趕不走那鬼呢?」

20 耶穌說:「你們的信心太小了。我實在告訴你們,你們若有像芥菜種那樣大的信心,就算叫這座山從這裡移到那裡,它也會移開,你們將沒有辦不到的事。 21 至於這一類的鬼,你們必須禱告和禁食才能把牠趕走。」


22 他們聚集在加利利的時候,耶穌對他們說:「人子將要被出賣,交在人手裡。 23 他們將殺害祂,第三天祂將復活。」門徒聽了,十分憂愁。


24 他們來到迦百農,有幾個收聖殿稅的來問彼得:「你們的老師不納聖殿稅嗎?」

25 彼得說「納!」他進了屋,還沒開口,耶穌便問他:「西門,你有何看法?世上的君王向誰徵收賦稅?向自己的兒子呢,還是向外人呢?」

26 彼得答道:「向外人。」

耶穌說:「所以兒子不用納稅。 27 但為了避免得罪這些人,你就去湖邊釣魚,把釣上來的第一條魚的嘴打開,裡面有一個錢幣,拿它去繳你我的稅好了。」