7 Now Herod the ruler* heard about all that had taken place, and he was perplexed, because it was said by some that John had been raised from the dead, 8by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the ancient prophets had arisen. 9Herod said, John I beheaded; but who is this about whom I hear such things? And he tried to see him.
10 On their return the apostles told Jesus* all they had done. He took them with him and withdrew privately to a city called Bethsaida. 11When the crowds found out about it, they followed him; and he welcomed them, and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed to be cured.
12 The day was drawing to a close, and the twelve came to him and said, Send the crowd away, so that they may go into the surrounding villages and countryside, to lodge and get provisions; for we are here in a deserted place. 13But he said to them, You give them something to eat. They said, We have no more than five loaves and two fishunless we are to go and buy food for all these people. 14For there were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, Make them sit down in groups of about fifty each. 15They did so and made them all sit down. 16And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. 17And all ate and were filled. What was left over was gathered up, twelve baskets of broken pieces.
18 Once when Jesus* was praying alone, with only the disciples near him, he asked them, Who do the crowds say that I am? 19They answered, John the Baptist; but others, Elijah; and still others, that one of the ancient prophets has arisen. 20He said to them, But who do you say that I am? Peter answered, The Messiah* of God.
21 He sternly ordered and commanded them not to tell anyone, 22saying, The Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.
23 Then he said to them all, If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it. 25What does it profit them if they gain the whole world, but lose or forfeit themselves? 26Those who are ashamed of me and of my words, of them the Son of Man will be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. 27But truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.
28 Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus* took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. 29And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. 30Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. 31They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. 32Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake,* they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. 33Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings,* one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijahnot knowing what he said. 34While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. 35Then from the cloud came a voice that said, This is my Son, my Chosen;* listen to him! 36When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and in those days told no one any of the things they had seen.
37 On the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a great crowd met him. 38Just then a man from the crowd shouted, Teacher, I beg you to look at my son; he is my only child. 39Suddenly a spirit seizes him, and all at once he* shrieks. It throws him into convulsions until he foams at the mouth; it mauls him and will scarcely leave him. 40I begged your disciples to cast it out, but they could not. 41Jesus answered, You faithless and perverse generation, how much longer must I be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here. 42While he was coming, the demon dashed him to the ground in convulsions. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, healed the boy, and gave him back to his father. 43And all were astounded at the greatness of God.
While everyone was amazed at all that he was doing, he said to his disciples, 44Let these words sink into your ears: The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into human hands. 45But they did not understand this saying; its meaning was concealed from them, so that they could not perceive it. And they were afraid to ask him about this saying.
46 An argument arose among them as to which one of them was the greatest. 47But Jesus, aware of their inner thoughts, took a little child and put it by his side, 48and said to them, Whoever welcomes this child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me; for the least among all of you is the greatest.
49 John answered, Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.
50But Jesus said to him, Do not stop him; for whoever is not against you is for you.
51 When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. 52And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him; 53but they did not receive him, because his face was set towards Jerusalem. 54When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?* 55But he turned and rebuked them. 56Then* they went on to another village.
57 As they were going along the road, someone said to him, I will follow you wherever you go. 58And Jesus said to him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head. 59To another he said, Follow me. But he said, Lord, first let me go and bury my father. 60But Jesus* said to him, Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God. 61Another said, I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home. 62Jesus said to him, No one who puts a hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.
The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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10 February 2011