From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

Gospel of Matthew Chapter 17 Summary

A Costume Change That Would Make Even Cher Jealous

  • Six days later, Jesus, Peter, James, and John go up a mountain and Jesus's face suddenly shines like the sun and his clothing becomes brilliantly white.
  • Oh, and to top it off, Moses and Elijah appear next to Jesus and they start chatting it up. No big deal.
  • Actually, really big deal.
  • Peter is stoked and wants to set up tents so they can stay and have a chillfest. 
  • But then a voice comes from a cloud saying, "This is my Son, the Beloved [...] listen to him!" (17:5). This would terrify anyone, and sure enough, the disciples immediately fall to the ground. Jesus tells them to rise up and they see that he's alone now. Guess Moses and Elijah had another party to get to.
  • On the way back down the mountain, they ask Jesus about Elijah coming before the Son of Man. But Jesus says Elijah already came. For once, the disciples don't need any added explanations. They know that Jesus is referring to John the Baptist.
  • Once down from the mountain, Jesus learns that the other disciples were having difficulty curing a lunatic. Naturally, Jesus steps in a saves the day. Then he tells the disciples that they have little faith. Even faith the size of a mustard seed could move mountains.
  • Come on, people.
  • Again, Jesus predicts his arrest and death.
  • While at Capernaum, some tax collectors ask Peter if Jesus pays the tax. Of course he does! Peter brings this up with Jesus, who instructs him to go catch a fish. In the fish's mouth, Peter will find a coin for both Jesus and Peter's tax.
  • Like an obedient disciple, Peter does what he's told and finds everything exactly how Jesus describes it.
  • Ta-da!

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...