Jesus sends out the 12 apostles
1Jesus asked his 12 disciples to come to him. He gave them power to make sick people well. He also gave them authority to send bad spirits out of people. 2Then he sent them out to tell people about the kingdom of God. He told them that they should also make sick people well again. 3He said to them, ‘Do not take anything for your journey. Do not take a stick, or a bag, or food. Do not take any money. Do not take extra clothes. #9:3 Jesus wanted those that he was sending out to believe in him. The Holy Spirit would cause other people to give them what they needed. 4In each town, continue to stay at the first house that you go into. Stay there until you leave that town. 5In some towns, the people will not accept you. You should leave that place. Clean that town's dirt from your feet. Then it will be clear that they have done something wrong.’
6Then the apostles started out. They were going from one village to another. In every place they told people the good news about Jesus and they made sick people well.
A ruler hears about Jesus
7People told the ruler, Herod, about all the things that were happening. His mind was confused because people were saying lots of different things about Jesus. Some people were saying, ‘John the Baptist died but now he has become alive again.’ 8Other people were saying, ‘It is Elijah that has come back.’ Some other people were saying, ‘This is one of God's prophets who lived a long time ago. Now he has become alive again.’ #9:8 Elijah was a man that spoke messages from the Holy Spirit. He did not die, but God took him up from the ground to his own home. This report is in 2 Kings, chapter 2.
9Herod said, ‘I sent a soldier to cut off John's head. So who is this man? I hear many things about him.’ After that, Herod was trying to meet Jesus. #9:9 You can read about the death of John the Baptist in Mark, chapter 6.
Jesus feeds 5000 men and their families
10The 12 apostles that Jesus had sent out returned. They told him what they had done. Then he took them away from the crowd, so that he could be alone with them. They went to a town called Bethsaida. 11But the crowds found out about this. So they went to find Jesus. When he saw the crowds coming, he received them well. He taught them about the kingdom of God. Some sick people were there and he made them well again.
12When it was nearly evening, the 12 apostles came to Jesus. ‘There are no houses in this place,’ they said. ‘Send the crowd away now. Tell them to go to the villages and farms near here. Then they can get food to eat and they can find a place to sleep.’
13Jesus said to them, ‘You should give them some food to eat.’
But the disciples said, ‘We only have 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. Do you want us to go and buy food for all these people?’ 14There were about 5000 men in the crowd.
Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Tell the people that they should sit down on the ground in groups. There should be about 50 people in each group.’
15So they did this. When the people had sat down, 16Jesus took the 5 loaves of bread and the 2 fish. Then he looked up towards heaven and he thanked God for the food. He broke the bread into pieces. He gave the pieces of bread to the disciples, and they gave the bread to the crowd. 17Everybody ate and they all had enough food. They were not hungry any more. Then the disciples picked up all the bits of food that people had not eaten. They filled 12 baskets with little bits of food. #9:17 This report is very important. Only God could make 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish enough to feed 5000 men and their families. This showed that Jesus' power came from God.
Peter says who Jesus is
18One day, Jesus was alone and he was praying. The disciples came up to him. Jesus asked them, ‘When the crowds talk about me, who do they say that I am?’
19They replied, ‘Some people say that you are John the Baptist. Other people say that you are Elijah. And some other people say that you are one of God's prophets from long ago. They think that this prophet has become alive again.’ #9:19 This is the same report that Herod heard in 9:7-8.
20‘But what do you think?’ Jesus then asked them. ‘Who do you say that I am?’
Peter replied, ‘You are the Messiah. God has sent you.’
21Jesus spoke very strongly to them. He told them that they must not tell anyone about this. #9:21 The people were waiting for God to send the Messiah. They thought that this person would save them from the Roman government. They thought that he would be a great soldier. Jesus knew that the people had wrong ideas about the Messiah. So, he wanted to teach them how God rules in the lives of his people. He wanted to show them this by his life and death. Only then would the people understand that he really was the Messiah.
22He went on to say, ‘They will cause the Son of Man to have great pain. The important Jews, the leaders of the priests and the teachers of God's Law will be against him. People will kill him, but three days later God will cause him to become alive again.’ #9:22 Jesus told his friends what would happen to him. This is the first time that he told them.
23Then Jesus said to all the people that were there, ‘A person who wants to be my disciple must not think about himself. He must decide that his own life is not important. Every day he must be like someone who carries his own cross to go and die. Then he may come with me and be my disciple.
24Whoever wants to keep his own life safe will lose it. But whoever gives his life to serve me will have true life. 25A person could get everything in the whole world for himself. But if he loses his life, this would not be any good for him. He will have destroyed himself in the end. 26You must not be ashamed of me and of my words. If you are, then the Son of Man will be ashamed of you. One day he will return and everyone will see his power. He will come with God's holy angels and will have the beautiful power of his Father God. He will be ashamed of you on that day, if you are ashamed of him now.’
God shows who Jesus really is
27Jesus went on to say, ‘What I tell you is true. Some people who are standing here will see clearly how God rules. They will see that before they die.’
28About 8 days after Jesus had said these things, he went up a mountain to pray. He took Peter, John and James with him. 29While Jesus was praying, his face became different to look at. His clothes also became very white; they were shining brightly. 30Then two men appeared and they were talking with him. They were Moses and Elijah. #9:30 Matthew says in Matthew 17:2 that Jesus' face shone like the sun. Moses was a leader of the people of God. He died about 1400 years before Jesus was born. We can read about him in the book called Exodus. #9:30 Elijah was a man that spoke messages from God. He lived about 850 years before Jesus was born. God took Elijah up to his home while he was still alive. We can read about him in 1 Kings.
31They were very great and beautiful to look at. They talked with Jesus about how he would soon die in Jerusalem. This was how God wanted him to leave this world.
32While this was happening, Peter and his friends were sleeping. Then they really woke up and they saw that Jesus was very great and beautiful. They also saw the two men that were standing near to him. 33Then the two men began to leave. So, Peter said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, it is good that we are here. Please, let us build three huts. One hut will be for you. One hut will be for Moses and one hut will be for Elijah.’ But Peter did not really know what he was saying. #9:33 Peter wanted these important men to remain on the mountain. That is why he wanted to build the huts. This would not have been the right thing to do.
34While Peter was speaking, a cloud appeared. It covered them all. When the cloud came over them, the 3 disciples were afraid. 35Then a voice spoke from the cloud and it said, ‘This is my Son. He is the one that I have chosen. Listen to him.’
36The voice stopped speaking. Then the 3 disciples saw that only Jesus was there with them now.
They did not tell anyone at this time about what they had seen.
Jesus makes a boy well
37The next day Jesus came down from the mountain with the 3 disciples. A large crowd met him. 38A man from the crowd shouted to him. ‘Teacher, please, I ask you to help my son. He is my only child. 39Sometimes a bad spirit takes hold of him and then he screams. The spirit throws his body first one way then another and water comes out of his mouth. The spirit gives him a lot of pain and it doesn't leave him alone very much. 40I asked your disciples to send the bad spirit out of him. But they could not do it.’
41Jesus said, ‘You people today still do not believe in God. You have turned away from him. It is very difficult for me to be with you all this time. It is difficult for me to be patient with you.’ Then Jesus said to the man, ‘Bring your son here.’
42While the boy was coming, the bad spirit threw him to the ground. It threw the boy first one way and then the other. ‘Stop!’ Jesus said to it. He then made the boy well and he gave him back to his father.
43Everybody was very surprised at what they saw. They knew that God was very powerful.
Jesus speaks again about his death
The people were still thinking with surprise about everything that Jesus was doing. Then he began to talk to his disciples. 44He said to them, ‘Do not forget what I am telling you now. Soon they will deliver the Son of Man to powerful people to kill him.’ 45But they did not understand what Jesus had said. It was still a secret, so they could not understand what he meant. But they were afraid to ask him, ‘What do you mean?’
Who will be the most important?
46Then the disciples began to argue with each other. They argued about which of them was the most important. 47Jesus knew what they were thinking. So he took a child and he made him stand there at his side. 48Jesus said, ‘If someone accepts this child because of me, then he is accepting me also. And anyone who accepts me also accepts my Father God, who sent me. The person who makes himself the least important among you is really the greatest.’ #9:48 Jesus' friends were thinking that a child was not important. Jesus showed them that a child is important to God. The way that they receive a child shows if they understand this. We should not think that we are more important than other people.
49John then said, ‘Teacher, we saw a man who was speaking to people that had bad spirits in them. He was saying, “Jesus says that you must come out.” We told the man that he must not do this. We said that because he is not in our group.’
50‘Do not try to stop him,’ Jesus said, ‘If someone is not against you, he is really working with you.’
People in a village in Samaria do not accept Jesus
51Time was passing and soon God would take Jesus up to heaven. Jesus knew this, so he began to go towards Jerusalem. 52He arrived near a village in the country of Samaria. He sent some people into the village with a message. They went to ask for a place to stay for the night. 53But the people in the village would not let him stay there. This was because he was going to Jerusalem. #9:53 The people in Samaria did not like Jews to stay in their village.
54Then James and John heard about what had happened. They asked Jesus, ‘Master, do you want us to ask God to send fire down from the sky? Do you want us to kill these people?’
55Jesus turned round. ‘No!’ he said, ‘Do not do that. That would be wrong.’ 56Then they all went on to another village.
What it costs to obey Jesus
57They continued on their journey. A man came and spoke to Jesus. He said, ‘I will go with you. And I will go with you everywhere that you go.’
58Jesus replied, ‘Wild animals and birds have their own places to live. But I, the Son of Man, have no place of my own to lie down and rest.’
59Then Jesus said to another man, ‘Come with me!’ The man replied, ‘First let me go home and bury my father. Then I will come with you.’
60‘No!’ Jesus said, ‘Let people who are dead themselves bury their own dead people. You should go and tell people about the kingdom of God.’ #9:60 The man wanted to wait until his father had died. Then he would follow Jesus. Jesus did not agree. He called people that did not obey him ‘dead’. Those people could bury someone that had died. Jesus needed people now to tell the good news about how God rules.
61Another man said, ‘Sir, I will come with you. But please let me first go home to say “Goodbye” to my family.’
62Jesus replied, ‘A man that ploughs a field must continue to look straight in front of him. If he looks behind him, he cannot plough well. People that look back behind them cannot work well for the kingdom of God.’