Rev. Steve Andrews, pastor at St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Lee’s Summit, MO, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Matthew 17:14-27.
As Jesus descends from His transfiguration, He is met by a man in need of His mercy. The man’s son is suffering physically due to demon possession. Although our modern world may ignore demonic affliction, God’s Word clearly teaches that Satan and his demons attack all that God does. They delight to afflict us spiritually and physically; God’s Word and prayer are the means by which our gracious Lord delivers to us the victory He has won. Even as Jesus laments His disciples’ lack of faith, He still delivers the boy from the demon by His powerful word. He instructs His disciples in their little faith, calling them to the faith like a mustard seed. Such faith may be small, but because it is focused on Christ and His promises, it receives the impossible that He does. Jesus points toward Himself as the One who does the impossible of saving us sinners in His death and resurrection, even as His disciples remained distressed by the saying. Jesus’ upcoming death and resurrection is the key to understanding the matter of the temple tax. Neither He, as the Son of God, nor His disciples, as sons of God, need to pay the temple tax, because its sacrificial system is being fulfilled by Jesus. His death and resurrection alone pay the price for the forgiveness and salvation of sinners.
“All Righteousness Fulfilled” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that digs into the Gospel according to St. Matthew. The first evangelist proclaims Jesus to Jews and Gentiles alike as the fulfillment of God’s saving words and acts throughout the Old Testament. As the Christ in the line of David and Abraham, Jesus is the promised King who comes to bring sinners from every nation to live under His gracious reign.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
Jesus Heals a Boy with a Demon
14 And when they came to the crowd, a man came up to him and, kneeling before him, 15 said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he has seizures and he suffers terribly. For often he falls into the fire, and often into the water. 16 And I brought him to your disciples, and they could not heal him.” 17 And Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.” 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon,[a] and it[b] came out of him, and the boy was healed instantly.[c] 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” 20 He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”[d]
Jesus Again Foretells Death, Resurrection
22 As they were gathering[e] in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men, 23 and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.” And they were greatly distressed.
The Temple Tax
24 When they came to Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax went up to Peter and said, “Does your teacher not pay the tax?” 25 He said, “Yes.” And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tax? From their sons or from others?” 26 And when he said, “From others,” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are free. 27 However, not to give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook and take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find a shekel.[f] Take that and give it to them for me and for yourself.”
- Matthew 17:18 Greek it
- Matthew 17:18 Greek the demon
- Matthew 17:18 Greek from that hour
- Matthew 17:20 Some manuscripts insert verse 21: But this kind never comes out except by prayer and fasting
- Matthew 17:22 Some manuscripts remained
- Matthew 17:27 Greek stater, a silver coin worth four drachmas or approximately one shekel
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.