17:1 And 1 a after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,
(1) Christ in his present company is humble in the gospel, but all the while he is Lord both of heaven and earth. 17:2 And was b transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.
(a) Luke counts eight days, containing in that number the first and last, and Matthew speaks but of the days between them.
(b) Changed into another colour. 17:5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is c my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.
(c) The word "my" distinguishes Christ from other children. For he is Gods natural son, we by adoption; therefore he is called the first begotten among the brethren, because although he is by right the only son, yet he is chief among many, in that he is the source and head of the adoption. 17:6 And when the disciples heard [it], they d fell on their face, and were sore afraid.
17:9 And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the e vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.
(d) Fell down flat on their faces and worshipped him, as in ( Matthew 2:11 ).
(e) Which they saw, otherwise the word used in this place is usually used in referring to that which is seen in a dream. 17:14 2 And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a [certain] man, f kneeling down to him, and saying,
(2) Men are unworthy of Christs goodness, yet nonetheless he pays attention to them. 17:15 Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is g lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.
(f) As men used to do when making supplication.
(g) They that at certain times of the moon are troubled with the falling sickness, or any other kind of disease: but in this case, we must so understand it, that besides the natural disease he had a demonic derangement. 17:19 3 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?
(3) Incredulity and distrust hinder and break the direction of Gods benefits. 17:21 4 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by h prayer and fasting.
(4) The remedy against distrust. 17:22 5 And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men:
(h) To help us to understand the watchfulness and diligence of earnest prayer, which cannot be without sobriety.
(5) Our minds must be prepared more and more for the offence of the cross. 17:24 6 And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute [money] came to Peter, and said, Doth i not your master k pay l tribute?
(6) In that Christ willingly obeys Caesars edicts, he shows that civil policy is not taken away by the Gospel. 17:25 He 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 m children, or of strangers?
(i) He does not deny, but he asks.
(k) Should he not pay?
(l) They that were from twenty years of age to fifty, paid half a shekel to the Sanctuary, ( Exodus 30:13 ). This was an Attic didrachma which the Roman exacted after they had subdued Judea.
(m) By children we must not understand subjects who pay tribute, but natural children. 17:27 Notwithstanding, 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 n piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.
(n) The word used here is "stater", which is in value four didrachmas; every drachma is about five pence.