Matthew Chapter 17
The transfiguration event was a visual Prophecy of the coming Kingdom of God (see also Zionism). Moses (representative of the Law) and Elijah (representative of the prophets) were shown alive in that vision of the future, even though they were dead then, and are dead still now (see What Happens When You Die?). The "high mountain" on which it took place is not identified, but from Galilee, nearby Mount Hermon would be a possibility.
"17:1 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother [see The Inner Circle], and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, 17:2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light [see also What Did Jesus Look Like? and What Does Jesus Look Like Now?]. 17:3 And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.
17:4 Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses [see also The Education Of Moses and Why Did Christ Put Moses To Death?], and one for Elias [see also The Elijahs].
17:5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them [see also Behold, He Cometh With Clouds]: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.
17:6 And when the disciples [see Disciples and Apostles] heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. 17:7 And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. 17:8 And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.
17:9 And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision [see also Visions and Dreams] to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.
17:10 And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the Scribes that Elias must first come?
17:11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. 17:12 But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed [see John's Last Days]. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. 17:13 Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist." (Matthew 17:1-13 KJV)
Casting Out Demons was done frequently by the Christ. We have read how faith is required on the part of the one being healed - notice also that faith is required on the part of the one through whom the Holy Spirit does the healing, whether of physical or mental illness, or for ridding someone of demon infection.
"17:14 And when they were come to the multitude [see Multitudes], there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying, 17:15 Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is a lunatic, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. 17:16 And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.
17:17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me. 17:18 And Jesus rebuked the devil [see Devils]; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.
17:19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? [see also The Exorcist]
17:20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. 17:21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
17:22 And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men: 17:23 And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again [see Three Days and Three Nights]. And they were exceeding sorry." (Matthew 17:14-23 KJV)
Jesus Christ was a taxpayer to the Roman occupation government (perhaps how He first came to know Matthew the tax collector). Ironically, the people of Judah were forced to pay for the cost of their military occupation by the Romans (see Ancient Empires - Rome), a common "insult to injury" practice that most empires have used to pay for their imperialism (see Emperor). In this particular case however, the Christ used miraculous means to make the payment.
"17:24 And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute?
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? [see Custom and Tribute] of their own children, or of strangers?
17:26 Peter saith unto him, Of strangers.
Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. 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 piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee." (Matthew 17:24-27 KJV)
Matthew Chapter 18
The "Kingdom of Heaven" (see What Is Jesus Christ Doing Right Now?) is coming to earth. It will begin, on earth, on the day of Christ's return (see The Coming World Dictator). Christ's coming is to prepare the way for God's coming (see The Throne Of God, From Heaven To Earth).
"18:1 At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
18:2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, 18:3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted [see The Process Of Conversion], and become as little children [see Born Again, How and When?], ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. 18:4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
18:5 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. 18:6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
18:7 Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh! 18:8 Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire [see Baptism Of Fire]. 18:9 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell [see Where Is Hell?] fire." (Matthew 18:1-9 KJV)
Christ's "sheep" have often been scattered, in ancient times and modern, but The Lord knows exactly where they are, for when the time comes to gather them (see The Gatherings To Come). They also know, by means of the Holy Spirit in them (see Spiritual Conception), how and where to recognize The Shepherd's Voice.
"18:10 Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. 18:11 For the Son of man is come [see Advent] to save that which was lost.
18:12 How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?
18:13 And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. 18:14 Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish." (Matthew 18:10-14 KJV)
Bind and Loose is a matter of creating a record from which God's Judgment will be made (see also When Will You Be Judged?).
"18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall Trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 18:16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as a heathen man and a publican.
18:18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
18:19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." (Matthew 18:15-20 KJV)
The parable of the hypocritical (he refused to forgive others as he himself had been forgiven) servant was an object lesson of Mercy To The Merciful.
"18:21 Then came Peter [see also Peter's Ministry] to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
18:22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
18:23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. 18:24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. 18:25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
18:26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 18:27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with Compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
18:28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.
18:29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
18:30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
18:31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.
18:32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: 18:33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? 18:34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
18:35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses." (Matthew 18:21-35 KJV)
Matthew Chapter 19
The Church of God is frequently referred to as a woman. Why? Because from it the Children Of God will be born, in due time (see Spiritual Conception and Born Again, How and When?). The Commandment against adultery was as much spiritual as physical (see Thou shalt not commit adultery for an explanation of both). It was because of the breaking of the spiritual aspect of the Law against adultery that a New Covenant was needed (see Why A New Covenant?) - and also why The Lord divorced Israel in the "Old" Testament era (listen to The Divorce and Remarriage of Jesus Christ from our Sermons Page).
"19:1 And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judaea beyond Jordan; 19:2 And great multitudes followed him; and he healed them there.
19:3 The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?
19:4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning [see Christ The Creator] made them male and female, 19:5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 19:6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
19:7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?
19:8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. 19:9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.
19:10 His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry.
19:11 But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. 19:12 For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it." (Matthew 19:1-12 KJV)
The disciples understood that genuine repentance and conversion are things that only an adult is capable of doing (see Why Isn't Infant Baptism Valid?). Children are not in danger of losing salvation if they happen to die without being baptized, for everyone will have an adult opportunity to accept Christ's offer of eternal life (see When Will You Be Judged?).
"19:13 Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.
19:14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. 19:15 And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence." (Matthew 19:13-15 KJV)
This physical life was intended to be used only as a preparation for the life to come - by living according to God's commands (see The Process Of Conversion). Those who live this life as though that's all there is may find, for them, that is all that there is.
"19:16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
19:17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
19:18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, 19:19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
19:20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
19:21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
19:22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
19:23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. 19:24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
19:25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?
19:26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
19:27 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?
19:28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 19:29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.
19:30 But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first." (Matthew 19:16-30 KJV)
Fact Finder: What does the Word of God say about keeping God's Commandments?
How To Be A True Christian - Lesson 1
How To Be A True Christian - Lesson 2
How To Be A True Christian - Lesson 3
How To Be A True Christian - Lesson 4
How To Be A True Christian - Lesson 5
How To Be A True Christian - Lesson 6
How To Be A True Christian - Lesson 7
How To Be A True Christian - Lesson 8
How To Be A True Christian - Lesson 9
How To Be A True Christian - Lesson 10