Matthew 17:14-27

Jesus makes a boy well

14 Then Jesus, and the 3 disciples reached the place where the crowd was. A man came to Jesus. He went down on his knees in front of him. 15 He said to Jesus, ‘Please sir, be kind to my son. He cannot control his body. Sometimes he does not know what he is doing. Often he falls into the fire, or he falls into water. 16 I brought the boy to your disciples, but they could not make him well.’

17 Jesus replied, ‘You people today still do not believe in God. You have turned away from him. It is very difficult to be with you all this time. It is difficult for me to be patient with you.’ Then Jesus said to the man, ‘Bring the boy here to me.’ 18 Jesus said to the bad spirit, ‘Stop!’ Then the bad spirit left the boy and immediately he became well again.

19 When the disciples were alone with Jesus, they asked him, ‘Why could we not make the bad spirit leave the boy?’

20 Jesus replied, ‘You could not do it because you do not trust God very much. I tell you this: You may believe in God only a little bit, like a very small seed. Even then, you could say to this mountain, “Go away from this place and move to that other place.” Then it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you to do.’ [ 21 Jesus then said, ‘This kind of spirit will not leave a person unless you pray and you do not eat for a time.’]

17:20The 12 disciples had forgotten that God had caused them to be powerful. They needed to ask God to help them before they could help someone else.
17:21Some people think that Matthew did not write verse 21. They think that someone else wrote it later.

22 When Jesus and his disciples all met together in Galilee, he said, ‘Soon they will deliver the Son of Man to powerful people. 23 They will kill him. But three days after that, he will become alive again.’ When the disciples heard that, they were very sad.

24 After that, Jesus and his disciples arrived at Capernaum. Some men who received taxes for God's Great House went to talk to Peter. They asked him, ‘Does your teacher pay the tax for God's Great House?’

17:24These men took a small silver coin as tax from everybody in the town. The priests used the money from this tax to keep God's Great House in good repair. The small silver coin was about two days' pay for a worker.

25 Peter answered them, ‘Yes, my teacher does pay the tax.’

Then Peter returned to the house where Jesus was staying. Before Peter could say anything, Jesus spoke to him first. He said, ‘Here is a question for you to answer, Simon. Who are the people who must pay taxes and money to the kings in this world? Do the rulers take taxes from their own people? Or do they take taxes from other people?’

26 ‘They take the taxes from other people,’ Peter replied.

Jesus said to him, ‘This means that people from the ruler's own country do not need to pay anything. 27 But we do not want to make these men who take the tax angry. So go to the lake and throw out a line to catch fish. Pull up the first fish that you catch on your line. Open the mouth of the fish and you will find a coin inside it. Take the coin and give it to those who receive taxes for God's Great House. This will be enough money for both my tax and yours.’

17:26Jesus is telling Peter that he and the other disciples belong to God's family. So they did not need to pay tax for God's Great House.