Jesus Sends Out the Twelve Disciples
1Jesus called the Twelve together. He gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to heal sicknesses. 2Then he sent them out to preach about God's kingdom and to heal those who were sick.
3He told them, "Don't take anything for the journey. Do not take a walking stick or a bag. Do not take any bread, money or extra clothes. 4When you are invited into a house, stay there until you leave town. 5Some people may not welcome you. If they don't, shake the dust off your feet when you leave their town. This will be a witness against the people living there."
6So the Twelve left. They went from village to village. They preached the good news and healed people everywhere.
7Now Herod, the ruler of Galilee, heard about everything that was going on. He was bewildered, because some were saying that John the Baptist had been raised from the dead. 8Others were saying that Elijah had appeared. Still others were saying that a prophet of long ago had come back to life. 9But Herod said, "I had John's head cut off. So who is it that I hear such things about?" And he tried to see Jesus.
Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand
10The apostles returned. They told Jesus what they had done. Then he took them with him. They went off by themselves to a town called Bethsaida. 11But the crowds learned about it and followed Jesus. He welcomed them and spoke to them about God's kingdom. He also healed those who needed to be healed.
12Late in the afternoon the Twelve came to him. They said, "Send the crowd away. They can go to the nearby villages and countryside. There they can find food and a place to stay. There is nothing here."
13Jesus replied, "You give them something to eat."
The disciples answered, "We have only five loaves of bread and two fish. We would have to go and buy food for all this crowd." 14About 5,000 men were there.
But Jesus said to his disciples, "Have them sit down in groups of about 50 each." 15The disciples did so, and everyone sat down.
16Jesus took the five loaves and the two fish. He looked up to heaven and gave thanks. He broke them into pieces. Then he gave them to the disciples to set in front of the people. 17All of them ate and were satisfied. The disciples picked up 12 baskets of leftover pieces.
Peter Says That Jesus Is the Christ
18One day Jesus was praying alone. Only his disciples were with him. He asked them, "Who do the crowds say I am?"
19They replied, "Some say John the Baptist. Others say Elijah. Still others say that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life."
20"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"
Peter answered, "The Christ of God."
21Jesus strongly warned them not to tell this to anyone. 22He said, "The Son of Man must suffer many things. The elders will not accept him. The chief priests and teachers of the law will not accept him either. He must be killed and on the third day rise from the dead."
23Then he said to all of them, "If anyone wants to follow me, he must say no to himself. He must pick up his cross every day and follow me. 24If he wants to save his life, he will lose it. But if he loses his life for me, he will save it. 25What good is it if someone gains the whole world but loses or gives up his very self?
26"Suppose you are ashamed of me and my words. The Son of Man will come in his glory and in the glory of the Father and the holy angels. Then he will be ashamed of you.
27"What I'm about to tell you is true. Some who are standing here will not die before they see God's kingdom."
Jesus' Appearance Is Changed
28About eight days after Jesus said this, he went up on a mountain to pray. He took Peter, John and James with him.
29As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed. His clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. 30Two men, Moses and Elijah, 31appeared in shining glory. Jesus and the two of them talked together. They spoke about his coming death. He was going to die soon in Jerusalem.
32Peter and his companions had been very sleepy. But then they became completely awake. They saw Jesus' glory and the two men standing with him.
33As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter spoke up. "Master," he said to him, "it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters. One will be for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." He didn't really know what he was saying.
34While Jesus was speaking, a cloud appeared. It surrounded them. The disciples were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35A voice came from the cloud. It said, "This is my Son, and I have chosen him. Listen to him." 36When the voice had spoken, they found that Jesus was alone.
The disciples kept quiet about this. They didn't tell anyone at that time what they had seen.
Jesus Heals a Boy Who Had an Evil Spirit
37The next day Jesus and those who were with him came down from the mountain. A large crowd met Jesus.
38A man in the crowd called out. "Teacher," he said, "I beg you to look at my son. He is my only child. 39A spirit takes hold of him, and he suddenly screams. It throws him into fits so that he foams at the mouth. It hardly ever leaves him. It is destroying him. 40I begged your disciples to drive it out. But they couldn't do it."
41"You unbelieving and evil people!" Jesus replied. "How long do I have to stay with you? How long do I have to put up with you?"
Then he said to the man, "Bring your son here."
42Even while the boy was coming, the demon threw him into a fit. The boy fell to the ground. But Jesus ordered the evil spirit to leave the boy. Then Jesus healed him and gave him back to his father. 43They were all amazed at God's greatness.
Everyone was wondering about all that Jesus did. Then Jesus said to his disciples, 44"Listen carefully to what I am about to tell you. The Son of Man is going to be handed over to men." 45But they didn't understand what this meant. That was because it was hidden from them. And they were afraid to ask Jesus about it.
Who Is the Most Important Person?
46The disciples began to argue about which one of them would be the most important person. 47Jesus knew what they were thinking. So he took a little child and had the child stand beside him.
48Then he spoke to them. "Anyone who welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me," he said. "And anyone who welcomes me welcomes the One who sent me. The least important person among all of you is the most important."
49"Master," said John, "we saw a man driving out demons in your name. We tried to stop him, because he is not one of us."
50"Do not stop him," Jesus said. "Anyone who is not against you is for you."
The Samaritans Do Not Welcome Jesus
51The time grew near for Jesus to be taken up to heaven. So he made up his mind to go to Jerusalem. 52He sent messengers on ahead. They went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him. 53But the people there did not welcome Jesus. That was because he was heading for Jerusalem.
54The disciples James and John saw this. They asked, "Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to destroy them?"
55But Jesus turned and commanded them not to do it. 56They went on to another village.
It Costs to Follow Jesus
57Once Jesus and those who were with him were walking along the road. A man said to Jesus, "I will follow you no matter where you go."
58Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes. Birds of the air have nests. But the Son of Man has no place to lay his head."
59He said to another man, "Follow me."
But the man replied, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father."
60Jesus said to him, "Let dead people bury their own dead. You go and tell others about God's kingdom."
61Still another man said, "I will follow you, Lord. But first let me go back and say good-by to my family."
62Jesus replied, "Suppose you start to plow and then look back. If you do, you are not fit for service in God's kingdom."
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