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Matthew 17:14-21 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Faith the Size of a Mustard Seed

Matthew 17:14-21 – Faith the Size of a Mustard Seed

|| Mark 9:14-29; Luke 9:37-43

MT17:14 Now as they approached the crowd a [father] knelt down before[1] Jesus, MT17:15 saying, “Master, show mercy[2] to my moonstruck[3] son who suffers terribly.[4] He often falls into fire or water.[5] MT17:16 I brought him to your disciples[6] but they were unable to cure him.” MT17:17 So Jesus responded: “O faithless and twisted[7] generation, how long must I remain with you?[8] Bring him to me right here!” MT17:18 Then Jesus rebuked the demon and it left the boy. The boy was cured from that hour. MT17:19 Then the disciples approached Jesus in private and asked, “Why were we unable to exorcise the demon?” MT17:20 Jesus told them: “It was because of your tiny faith.[9] I tell you this truth: If you even possessed faith the size of a mustard seed[10] you would say to this mountain,[11] ‘Transfer from here to there!’ and it would be transported. Nothing would be impossible for you [disciples].” MT17:21 [[“However, this kind of demon is exorcised only by prayer and fasting.”]][12]

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[1] A [father] knelt down before: Or, NOR: a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him.

[2] Show mercy: Or, WEY: have pity.

[3] Moonstruck: The Greek is SELENIAZETAI. Or, KJV: lunatick; ASV: epileptic; LB: mentally deranged. The word only occurs in Matthew (Matthew 4:24). In Mark the boy is possessed by a mute spirit (Mark 9:18).

[4] Suffers terribly: Or, KJV: sore vexed; ASV: suffereth grievously; NEB: bad fits; WMS: excruciating pain.

[5] He often falls into fire or water: Or, KNX: often throw himself into. Mark 9:18 says,

“Wherever it seizes him it dashes him to the ground.” It is the demon that drives the youth to burn or drown himself. The demons wish to escape but cannot (Compare Luke 9:37).

[6] Disciples: Since Jesus has been with the three (Peter, James, John) this may mean the other nine apostles.

[7] Faithless and twisted: Or, RHM: faithless and perverted; BER: unbelieving and rebellious; KNX: misguided; GDSP: unbelieving, obstinate. It is hard to imagine Jesus includes his disciples though they are part of that generation.

[8] How long must I remain with you: Perhaps some frustration? The Nazarene knows from Daniel 9:26 that his days are numbered.

[9] Tiny faith: The Greek is OLIGO(=small)PISTIAN(=faith/belief) here in the W&H text. The Received Text uses APISTIAN (unbelief, non-faith). Or, ASV: little faith; NEB: your faith is too weak; RIEU: lack of faith. To Jesus faith or belief has varying size and strength.

[10] Size of a mustard seed: Do we see Jesus pinch his two fingers together indicating the size? Use find or search on the word mustard for notes elsewhere.

[11] This mountain: Having just come down from Mount Hermon can we see Jesus point to that 9,000-foot peak? This is an absurdum or hyperbole, an exaggerated metaphor. Note something similar at Zechariah 4:7 and 1 Corinthians 13:2. Compare Matthew 21:21; Mark 11:23; Luke 17:6.

[12] [[…]]: א, B, Syc,s omit verse 21; C, D, W, Vg, Syp, Arm add the phrase as in the KJV.

A Mustard Seed

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Preceding

Matthew 17:1-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Transfiguration Vision

Matthew 17:10-13 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Elijah Has Already Come

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Related

  1. Today’s Meditation (9.12.18)
  2. Faith
  3. The Parable of the Mustard Seed
  4. The tiniest seed
  5. Little Faith and the Blessings that Come From it
  6. Mountains Moving
  7. “What a generation! No sense of God! No focus to your lives! How many times do I have to go over these things?” ~Jesus
  8. Matthew 17, the Ttansfiguration, the healing of a boy with a demon, the “temple tax”.
  9. Pass the Mustard
  10. Mustard Seed Faith
  11. Small Faith
  12. Mustard Seed Size Faith
  13. Sunday, November 25, 2018 [postponed from 18 November]
  14. Mark 4 – Jesus jokes about a mustard seed
  15. Tree vs Herbs
  16. Mustard Seed Faith 1
  17. Mustard Seed Faith 2
  18. Mustrd Seed Faith 3
  19. The Mustard Seed Luke 17:5-6 NKJV 5) And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” 6) So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree
  20. The Power of a Mustard Seed
  21. It starts with a small seed
  22. The Tiny Seed of Faith
  23. Shrimp & the Mustard Seed
  24. Faith or Just Hope?
  25. Consider the Mustard Seed
  26. Fairy Floss Faith or Mustard Seed Faith
  27. Faith Like A Mustard Tree
  28. We Are the Branches
  29. Speak To The Mountains!
  30. Mountains Moving
  31. 8/14/18 | Mustard Seed Faith
  32. Praying :: With the Faith of a Mustard Seed
  33. Lord, Increase Our Faith
  34. Lord I believe. Help my unbelief!

Matthew 17:1-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Transfiguration Vision

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN:
A TRANSFIGURED SON AND AN EMPTY POCKET

[“Glory and Taxes”]
(Key word: “Listen!”)

Matthew 17:1-9 – Transfiguration Vision

|| Mark 9:2-8; Luke 9:28-36

MT17:1 Now after six days[1] Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John[2] (the brother of James) and ascended with them to a very secluded place on a tall mountain.[3] MT17:2 And right before them Jesus was metamorphosed[4] – his face illuminated like the sun[5] and his cloak as white light.[6] MT17:3 And, look! they could see Moses and Elijah[7] speaking with Jesus. MT17:4 Peter responded and said to Jesus, “Master, if you wish I shall make three tents[8] – one for you and Moses and Elijah.” MT17:5 Yet while Peter was talking, look! a shining cloud rested over them, and, look! a Voice came from the cloud,[9] saying, “This is my beloved Son whom I approve[10] – listen to him.”[11] MT17:6 Now, hearing this the disciples were frightened and fell on their faces. MT17:7 Jesus approached the disciples and touching them, he said, “Rise and do not be afraid.” MT17:8 But, when the disciples looked up they saw nothing but Jesus himself. MT17:9 Now while descending the mountain Jesus charged[12] the three disciples: “Tell no one[13] about the vision[14] until the Son of Humankind[15] is raised from among those dead.”[16]

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[1] After six days: Mark 9:2 agrees though Luke 9:28 says, “But it happened about eight days after…” Some see the transfiguration as the fulfillment of what the Nazarene said earlier (Matthew 16:28). It ought to be observed that there is nothing in the “vision” which speaks of the arrival of Jesus’ kingdom in power.

[2] Peter, James, and John: Are these the primary foundation stones of the Congregation? Note in Mark 13:3 Andrew is added to a select group among the apostles.

[3] A very secluded place on a tall mountain: Or, KJV: into an high mountain apart; KNX: where they were along; LB: a high and lonely hill. Some believe this is that 9,000-foot mountain nearest Caesar Philippi, Mount Hermon.

[4] Jesus was metamorphosed: The Greek is METAMORPHOTHE. Or, KJV: transfigured; RHM: transformed; WMS: his appearance was changed; PME: his whole appearance changed before their eyes. Note a form of the word at Romans 12:2 and 2 Corinthians 3:18. According to Luke 9:29 this occurred “as he was praying.”

[5] Face illuminated like the sun: Or KJV: his faced did shine as the sun. Compare Daniel 12:3; Matthew 13:43; Revelation 1:14. Note, Exodus 34:29: “Moses did not know that the skin of his face emitted rays.” (NW) It is impossible not to include as a cross reference 2 Corinthians 3:7, 10, 15, 18 and the relationship with the “new covenant.”

[6] His cloak as white light: Or, ASV: garment became white as the light; RIEU: white as light itself. Mark 9:3 adds: “… far whiter than any clothes cleaner on earth could whiten them.” (Revelation 1:16)

[7] Moses and Elijah: Some see these two as representing the Law and the Prophets pointing to Messiah. The three are called “prophets.” The three all fast for 40 days. All three hear the Voice of God. All three are associated with the Name of God. All three are involved in the saving acts of God. Compare Malachi 4:4, 5. See notes on Revelation 11:5, 6.

[8] I shall make three tents: We note the spontaneity of Peter. Perhaps he expects these three to remain during the chilly night. He may create an evening bivouac from boughs and limbs of trees.

[9] Voice came from the cloud: This is the second of three cases where the Voice of God is heard, all in the presence of Jesus (Matthew 3:17; John 12:28). Peter gives his own inspired interpretation of this event at 2 Peter 1:16-18. The Voice is “God the Father.” The main point is the revelation of the “power and presence (PAROUSIA)” of our Lord Jesus Christ. Some wish to make this the second coming or that Parousia future from the days of Jesus and the disciples. (Matthew 24:3; 1 Corinthians 15:23; 1 Thessalonians 2:19; 3:13; 4:15; 5:23; 2 Thessalonians 2:1, 8; James 5:7, 8; 2 Peter 3:4; 1 John 2:28) Others see the parousia here as that first coming of the Nazarene.

[10] This is my beloved Son whom I approve: These are the words heard by John the Baptist and the Nazarene at his baptism (see notes at Matthew 3:17; Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22). Peter records the Voice at 2 Peter 1:17. The phrase is similar to a conflate of Psalm 2:7 and Isaiah 42:1. Peter is to quote the context of Psalm 2:7 later at Acts 4:24; and, Paul Psalm 2:7 exactly at Acts 13:33, 34. Both apply Psalm 2 to that period upon the resurrection and ascension of Jesus to heaven as envisioned by Daniel 7:13. It is curious that this is witnessed only by three of the apostles and these are later told not to tell anyone (the other apostles?) of the vision (Matthew 17:9).

[11] Listen to him: Here is the main point of the whole episodic vision: to charge these three apostles to hear or listen in obedience to the Son (Note Hebrews 1:1). Matthew was not present on this occasion so must have learned the details from Peter, James, or John; and this after the resurrection of the Son of Humankind. “Listen” is a word occurring often in the Gospels: Matthew 11:15; 13:9, 18, 43; 15:10; Mark 4:3, 9, 20, 23, 33; 7:14; Luke 8:8, 18; 14:35; John 10:3, 16, 27.

[12] Jesus charged: Or, ASV: commanded; KNX: ward; MOF: ordered.

[13] Tell no one: We may assume this included the other nine apostles. What an awesome charge to confidence – a lesson for many an elder to keep confidentiality. On this matter compare Paul’s own at 2 Corinthians 12:4.

[14] The vision: The appearance of “Moses” and “Elijah” were visionary not the real persons alive. One may ask how these men recognized Moses and Elijah?

[15] Son of Humankind: Search or Find Son of Man or Son of Humankind.

[16] Raised from among those dead: Or, KJV: risen again from the dead; MON: raised from the dead. The dead themselves are not to be raised until, a) the Parousia of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:23); and, b) the end of the Thousand Years (1 Corinthians 15:24; Revelation 20:5).

 

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Preceding

Matthew 16:24-28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: A Disciple Must Disown Self

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Related

  1. “Listen to Him!”
  2. Matthew 17 – The Mount of Transfiguration
  3. Matthew 17:1-8 The Terrifying Transfiguration
  4. Tip of the Day, September 19 Lessons of the Transfiguration
  5. Monday Motivation: The Revealing of Glory
  6. On a high mountain
  7. On the Mountain
  8. What Happened On The Mountain; Learning Under Jesus
  9. Transfiguration
  10. The Transfiguration
  11. The Transfiguration the Feast of the Transfiguration,
  12. Here We Read About The Wonderful Transfiguration Of Jesus!
  13. The Transfiguration of Our Lord
  14. Divine Glory and Sacrificial Love
  15. God’s Voice is Heard at the Transfiguration
  16. The Glory of Jesus Christ is Revealed at the Transfiguration
  17. They Saw No One but Jesus Only
  18. Does the Father affirm Jesus the Messiah is his Son?
  19. She Reads Truth | Matthew 17 & 18
  20. Transfiguration – Divinization and the Transmigration of Souls
  21. Transfiguring Humanity—Reflections on the Transfiguration of Christ
  22. Moses, Elijah and Jesus (Plus Four) Meet on a Mountain: The Feast of the Transfiguration
  23. The Transfiguration of Christ
  24. The Transfiguration of the Lord
  25. 4. Witnessed the Transfiguration of Jesus
  26. Elijah & Elisha
  27. How Not to Be Terrified
  28. Acknowledge the Glory In You
  29. The Disciples’ Response to the Transfiguration

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:8-11 – A Temptation to Gain World Rule

Matthew 4:8-11 – A Temptation to Gain World Rule

|| Luke 4:5-8, 13

MT4:8 Again the Devil took Jesus along to an unusually high mountain[1] and showed him all the kingdoms[2] of the world[3] and their glory. MT4:9 And the Devil said to Jesus, “All this I will give you if you ever prostrate[4] yourself and bow before me, kissing my feet.” MT4:10 Then Jesus said to the Devil, “Be on your way, Satan,[5] for it has been written,[6] ‘You shall worship[7] YHWH your God[8] and to Him only shall you render divine service.’[9][Deuteronomy 5:9; 6:13; 10:20] MT4:11 With that the Devil left Jesus, and, look! angels approached Jesus and ministered to him.

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Now we come to the moment that the adversary of God shows the many kingdoms of earth to Jeshua, Christ Jesus, of whom is written in the ancient Scriptures that he is the sent one from God who is to govern over all kingdoms or monarchies, empires, monocracies, emperors, hereditary figures such as kings and queens, going to be the King of kings. The adversary of God promised Jesus that he was going to give all things if Jesus would fall down and worship him. This is not so much different today as at the time of Jesus. Today the satans or adversaries of God still promise the people many things they really cannot give, because those things do not belong to them and because they have no right of power over them. Lots of people also want to be worshipped by those around them. Many people fall in front of them because they love to receive more things and better positions from them. They are clearly of the world and not loving God as such, because their priorities are not for the heavenly goods but for the worldly goods.

At the moment the world still belongs to satan or to those who might be against God, but that is not going to stay so. There shall come a day when Jesus shall be authorised to rule over all the kingdoms on earth. (Revelation 11:15).

So he brought him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the inhabited earth in an instant of time.+ Then the Devil said to him: “I will give you all this authority and their glory, because it has been handed over to me,+ and I give it to whomever I wish. If you, therefore, do an act of worship before me, it will all be yours.” In reply Jesus said to him: “It is written, ‘It is Jehovah* your God you must worship, and it is to him alone you must render sacred service.’”+ {Luke 4:5-8}

    • John 12:31
    • 31 Now there is a judging of this world; now the ruler of this world+ will be cast out.+

    • John 14:30
    • 30 I will not speak with you much more, for the ruler of the world+ is coming, and he has no hold on me.*+

    • Ephesians 2:2
    • in which you at one time walked according to the system of things* of this world,+ according to the ruler of the authority of the air,+ the spirit+ that is now at work in the sons of disobedience.

  • 1 John 5:19: 19 We know that we originate with God, but the whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one.+
    • Matthew 13:19
    • 19 Where anyone hears the word of the Kingdom but does not get the sense of it, the wicked one+ comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart; this is the one sown alongside the road.+

Though rulership may today still belong to the adversary of God he does not deserve worship. Jesus very well knew to Whom worship belongs. It is not Jesus who has to be worshipped nor satan or any adversary of God or any other person or any other god than the God of gods, the Host of hosts.

Jesus’ refusal was curt:

“Beat it, Satan!”

He backed his rebuke with a third quotation from Deuteronomy, saying that it is written:

“It is Jehovah* your God you must worship,+ and it is only to Him alone you must render sacred service (or absolute single-heartedness).’”+

**

Hermonsnow.jpg

Mount Hermon, viewed from Mount Bental in the Golan Heights

[1] High mountain: We are tempted to envision Mount Everest though Mount Hermon might be the location.

[2] All the kingdoms: The governments and world powers all belong to the Devil as Luke 4:6, 7 confirms. Satan is the “god of this world.” (2 Corinthians 4:4) The entire world lies in his power (1 John 5:19). This “world” will one day be ruled by Lord Messiah (Revelation 11:15).

[3] World: The Greek is KOSMOS.

[4] Prostrate: The Greek is PROSKUNESES and contains “before + kiss” meaning to bow to the ground and kiss the sandals or hem of a garment. Older translations often use “worship” which is drawn from “worthy” and was used in old English regarding worthy persons such as kings, judges, and priests as worthy persons who may be addressed “Your worship.” It may range from a simple matter of respect to religious worship.

[5] Satan: The name means “Resister; Rebel; Apostate.” The name occurs 68 times with the first occurrence at 1 Chronicles 21:1. It occurs most often (17) in the Book of Job.

[6] Written: Perhaps a conflate paraphrase from Deuteronomy 5:9; 6:13; 10:20.

[7] Worship: The Greek is PROSKUNESEIS as in verse 9 but amplified by Jesus’ next word. TCNT: do homage.

[8] Your God: By this Jesus infers that YHWH is his God otherwise the quote makes no sense as a response to Satan. Over two dozen times the Scriptures use phrases indicating the Nazarene worships his own God. “The God of our Lord.” (Ephesians 1:3, 17)

[9] Render divine service: The Greek is LATREUSEIS. Or, KJV: serve; RHM: divine service.

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Preceding

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:1-4 A Wilderness Temptation

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:5-7 – A Temptation to Test God

Jehovah God Maker of the entire universe served by a well-trained army

Next:

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:12-17 – Galilee Saw A Great Light

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:18-22 – The Calling of the First Disciples

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:23-25 – Kingdom Preaching and Healing Draws Crowds

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Additional reading

  1. True riches
  2. Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God
  3. When will it stop
  4. Merry Christmas with the King of Kings
  5. Looking for answers on the question Is there a God #2 Pantheon of gods and celebrations
  6. Looking for answers on the question Is there a God #3 Transcendence or Surpassing other gods and man

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Further reading

  1. The Ancient Worship of Babylon
  2. God Will Rule This Earth
  3. Deuteronomy
  4. Democratic Mistakes–The falls of Titans
  5. Kingdoms Collide
  6. All Forms of Government Are Bad
  7. Kings and kingdoms
  8. Messenger to the Nations
  9. Battling in the heavenly realm for your nation
  10. Bowing In Humility
  11. Missing Our Medicine
  12. Seeking to Strengthen the Faith
  13. Surrender
  14. Having Faith in God 
  15. Worship God
  16. G3-Why Praise God?
  17. Worship in Spirit and in Truth Part A
  18. God First (I Chronicles 8-10)
  19. Quick Answers: When Is The Best Time To Praise And Worship God?
  20. Worship in Spirit and In Truth Part B
  21. Unlock and activate what God has for you!
  22. Worship out of Love
  23. Our Service to God
  24. Worship is not about us

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