Matthew 17:21-27

Mat 17:21 (KJB)
Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

Jesus then tells them that this kind of devil, which teaches us that some of the devils are much more wicked than others. (Mat 12:45 KJV) Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation. The type of devil which had this boy was of the type who stayed in the person for a long period of time and was of the most evil type in that his goal seemed to want to kill that boy. What seemed lacking with the disciples was that since their faith was lacking and they were in unbelief, they would also have had very weak prayers, if they prayed at all. Then Jesus adds fasting in there which means they would have denied themselves food and water until the devil had left the boy. The fast means they would have been more concentrated on the situation at hand rather than praying for him and then taking lunch. Then there is the other kind of fast which the Bible speaks about and that is a spiritual fast. (Isa 58:5-7 KJV) Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD? {6} Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? {7} Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? The fast which the believer must partake in goes back to the principle of the believer utterly denying themselves for the purpose of following Christ. A Christian denies self to help bring the Gospel to others and when they become saved they are freed from any satanic oppression.

Mat 17:22 (KJB)
And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men:

As they continued to abide in Galilee, Jesus had continually prepared their minds for the upcoming betrayal, trial, and crucifixion. It seemed that the disciples had not paid attention to that facet of the ministry of Christ and when the events began to unfold in Jerusalem, they were caught off guard because of their neglect in including this part of Jesus’ ministry in their thinking.

Mat 17:23 (KJB)
And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry.

Then Jesus continues on with the upcoming ordeal by telling them that not only will He be betrayed but He will also be killed because of their hatred for Him. Jesus also includes the fact that He was going to be raised from the dead on the third day. The fact that Jesus was going to die brought much sorrow to the disciples but it seemed they neglected to understand the last part of Jesus’ statement that He was going to rise from the dead. It seems to me that this would have brought some level of joy knowing that Jesus would not remain dead but would be raised. Unfortunately, it seems we hear only what we want to hear.

Mat 17:24 (KJB)
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute?

This particular incident was recorded only by Matthew, probably because Matthew being a former tax collector, he would have been familiar with this custom. The tribute here is not one of the political kind going to Rome but is the temple tax that was a half shekel which was required of everyone age twenty years and up. (Exo 30:13 KJV) This they shall give, every one that passeth among them that are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary: (a shekel is twenty gerahs:) an half shekel shall be the offering of the LORD. It was for the upkeep of the temple. Jesus had already entered the house where they were staying and the tax collectors came to the house and asked Peter if Jesus pays tribute?

Mat 17:25 (KJB)
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? of their own children, or of strangers?

Peter had thought that Jesus had already paid the temple tax and neglected to ask Jesus if He paid those taxes. Peter had drawn his own conclusion. Before Peter had a chance to speak, Jesus began focusing his attention in a different direction. In ancient times, kings would not require their sons to pay any taxes but when a king conquered a city or country, one of the first things which was brought to the attention of the people was the amount of tax or tribute they were required to pay. Most taxes were collected from strangers, those who were conquered. Rome was a good example of this as they collected tribute from Israel.

Mat 17:26 (KJB)
Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free.

Then Peter answered Jesus by telling Him that it is the strangers who pay the tribute to the conquering king. Jesus then states that the children are free because they are the king’s children. Here we have one that is greater than the Temple and all its servants, so Jesus should have been free as well as all those who followed Him. By stating that the children are free, Jesus was wilfully submitting to the tax on a voluntary basis. This was another evidence of Jesus denying Himself because He was the focus of the temple, even though the leaders were blind to it. (Mal 3:1 KJV) Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. If the leaders would have understood Malachi 3:1, they would have realized that Jesus was free.

Mat 17:27 (KJB)
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 records a miracle here which is written in such a calm manner. Jesus knowing that He should not have to pay the tax had decided to pay it so there would be no offense taken by anyone. Jesus tells Peter to go the Sea of Galilee and cast in a hook and the very first fish that he catches will have a piece of money, it would probably have been either a one shekel coin or one worth at least 4 drachmas which would have been sufficient payment for both. When he received the coin, he was to take it to the tax collectors for payment. Matthew does not record how this miracle ended but nevertheless, if Peter did exactly what Jesus said to, then it was a completed miracle and there is nothing to prove otherwise.