Contemporary English Version
Women Who Helped Jesus
8 Soon after this, Jesus was going through towns and villages, telling the good news about God's kingdom. His twelve apostles were with him, 2 (A) and so were some women who had been healed of evil spirits and all sorts of diseases. One of the women was Mary Magdalene,[a] who once had seven demons in her. 3 Joanna, Susanna, and many others had also used what they owned to help Jesus[b] and his disciples. Joanna's husband Chuza was one of Herod's officials.[c]
A Story about a Farmer
4 When a large crowd from several towns had gathered around Jesus, he told them this story:
5 A farmer went out to scatter seed in a field. While the farmer was doing this, some of the seeds fell along the road and were stepped on or eaten by birds. 6 Other seeds fell on rocky ground and started growing. But the plants did not have enough water and soon dried up. 7 Some other seeds fell where thornbushes grew up and choked the plants. 8 The rest of the seeds fell on good ground where they grew and produced a hundred times as many seeds.
When Jesus had finished speaking, he said, “If you have ears, pay attention!”
Why Jesus Used Stories
9 Jesus' disciples asked him what the story meant. 10 (B) So he answered:
I have explained the secrets about God's kingdom to you. But for others I use stories, so they will look, but not see, and they will hear, but not understand.
Jesus Explains the Story about a Farmer
11 This is what the story means: The seed is God's message, 12 and the seeds that fell along the road are the people who hear the message. But the devil comes and snatches the message out of their hearts, so they will not believe and be saved. 13 The seeds that fell on rocky ground are the people who gladly hear the message and accept it. But they don't have deep roots, and they believe only for a little while. As soon as life gets hard, they give up.
14 The seeds that fell among the thornbushes are also people who hear the message. But they are so eager for riches and pleasures that they never produce anything. 15 Those seeds that fell on good ground are the people who listen to the message and keep it in good and honest hearts. They last and produce a harvest.
16 (C) No one lights a lamp and puts it under a bowl or under a bed. A lamp is always put on a lampstand, so people who come into a house will see the light. 17 (D) There is nothing hidden that will not be found. There is no secret that will not be well known. 18 (E) Pay attention to how you listen! Everyone who has something will be given more, but people who have nothing will lose what little they think they have.
Jesus' Mother and Brothers
19 Jesus' mother and brothers went to see him, but because of the crowd they could not get near him. 20 Someone told Jesus, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside and want to see you.”
21 Jesus answered, “My mother and my brothers are those people who hear and obey God's message.”
22 One day, Jesus and his disciples got into a boat, and he said, “Let's cross the lake.”[d] They started out, 23 and while they were sailing across, he went to sleep.
Suddenly a storm struck the lake, and the boat started sinking. They were in danger. 24 So they went to Jesus and woke him up, “Master, Master! We are about to drown!”
Jesus got up and ordered the wind and waves to stop. They obeyed, and everything was calm. 25 Then Jesus asked the disciples, “Don't you have any faith?”
But they were frightened and amazed. They said to each other, “Who is this? He can give orders to the wind and the waves, and they obey him!”
A Man with Demons in Him
26 Jesus and his disciples sailed across Lake Galilee and came to shore near the town of Gerasa.[e] 27 As Jesus was getting out of the boat, he was met by a man from this town. The man had demons in him. He had gone naked for a long time and no longer lived in a house, but in the graveyard.[f]
28 The man saw Jesus and screamed. He knelt down in front of him and shouted, “Jesus, Son of God Most High, what do you want with me? I beg you not to torture me!” 29 He said this because Jesus had already told the evil spirit to go out of him.
The man had often been attacked by the demon. And even though he had been bound with chains and leg irons and kept under guard, he smashed whatever bound him. Then the demon would force him out into lonely places.
30 Jesus asked the man, “What is your name?”
He answered, “My name is Lots.” He said this because there were “lots” of demons in him. 31 They begged Jesus not to send them to the deep pit,[g] where they would be punished.
32 A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. So the demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs, and Jesus let them go. 33 Then the demons left the man and went into the pigs. The whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and drowned.
34 When the men taking care of the pigs saw this, they ran to spread the news in the town and on the farms. 35 The people went out to see what had happened, and when they came to Jesus, they also found the man. The demons had gone out of him, and he was sitting there at the feet of Jesus. He had clothes on and was in his right mind. But the people were terrified.
36 Then all who had seen the man healed told about it. 37 Everyone from around Gerasa[h] begged Jesus to leave, because they were so frightened.
When Jesus got into the boat to start back, 38 the man who had been healed begged to go with him. But Jesus sent him off and said, 39 “Go back home and tell everyone how much God has done for you.” The man then went all over town, telling everything that Jesus had done for him.
A Dying Girl and a Sick Woman
40 Everyone had been waiting for Jesus, and when he came back, a crowd was there to welcome him. 41 Just then the man in charge of the synagogue came and knelt down in front of Jesus. His name was Jairus, and he begged Jesus to come to his home 42 because his twelve-year-old child was dying. She was his only daughter.
While Jesus was on his way, people were crowding all around him. 43 In the crowd was a woman who had been bleeding for twelve years. She had spent everything she had on doctors,[i] but none of them could make her well.
44 As soon as she came up behind Jesus and barely touched his clothes, her bleeding stopped.
45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked.
While everyone was denying it, Peter said, “Master, people are crowding all around and pushing you from every side.”[j]
46 But Jesus answered, “Someone touched me, because I felt power going out from me.” 47 The woman knew that she could not hide, so she came trembling and knelt down in front of Jesus. She told everyone why she had touched him and that she had been healed at once.
48 Jesus said to the woman, “You are now well because of your faith. May God give you peace!”
49 While Jesus was speaking, someone came from Jairus' home and said, “Your daughter has died! Why bother the teacher anymore?”
50 When Jesus heard this, he told Jairus, “Don't worry! Have faith, and your daughter will get well.”
51 Jesus went into the house, but he did not let anyone else go with him, except Peter, John, James, and the girl's father and mother. 52 Everyone was crying and weeping for the girl. But Jesus said, “The child isn't dead. She is just asleep.” 53 The people laughed at him because they knew she was dead.
54 Jesus took hold of the girl's hand and said, “Child, get up!” 55 She came back to life and got right up. Jesus told them to give her something to eat. 56 Her parents were surprised, but Jesus ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.
Instructions for the Twelve Apostles
9 Jesus called together his twelve apostles and gave them complete power over all demons and diseases. 2 Then he sent them to tell about God's kingdom and to heal the sick. 3 (F) He told them, “Don't take anything with you! Don't take a walking stick or a traveling bag or food or money or even a change of clothes. 4 When you are welcomed into a home, stay there until you leave that town. 5 (G) If people won't welcome you, leave the town and shake the dust from your feet[k] as a warning to them.”
6 The apostles left and went from village to village, telling the good news and healing people everywhere.
Herod Is Worried
7 (H) Herod[l] the ruler heard about all that was happening, and he was worried. Some people were saying John the Baptist had come back to life. 8 Others were saying Elijah had come[m] or one of the prophets from long ago had come back to life. 9 But Herod said, “I had John's head cut off! Who is this I hear so much about?” Herod was eager to meet Jesus.
Jesus Feeds Five Thousand
10 The apostles came back and told Jesus everything they had done. He then took them with him to the village of Bethsaida, where they could be alone. 11 But a lot of people found out about this and followed him. Jesus welcomed them. He spoke about God's kingdom and healed everyone who was sick.
12 Late in the afternoon the twelve apostles came to Jesus and said, “Send the crowd to the villages and farms around here. They need to find a place to stay and something to eat. There is nothing in this place. It's like a desert!”
13 Jesus answered, “You give them something to eat.”
But they replied, “We have only five small loaves of bread[n] and two fish. If we are going to feed all these people, we will have to go and buy food.” 14 There were about 5,000 men in the crowd.
Jesus said to his disciples, “Tell the people to sit in groups of 50.” 15 They did this, and all the people sat down. 16 Jesus took the five loaves and the two fish. He looked up toward heaven and blessed the food. Then he broke the bread and fish and handed them to his disciples to give to the people.
17 Everyone ate all they wanted. What was left over filled twelve baskets.
Who Is Jesus?
18 When Jesus was alone praying, his disciples came to him, and he asked them, “What do people say about me?”
20 (J) Jesus then asked, “But who do you say I am?”
Peter answered, “You are the Messiah sent from God.”
21 Jesus strictly warned his disciples not to tell anyone about this.
Jesus Speaks about His Suffering and Death
22 Jesus told his disciples, “The nation's leaders, the chief priests, and the teachers of the Law of Moses will make the Son of Man suffer terribly. They will reject him and kill him, but three days later he will rise to life.”
23 (K) Then Jesus said to all the people:
If any of you want to be my followers, you must forget about yourself. You must take up your cross every day and follow me. 24 (L) If you want to save your life,[p] you will destroy it. But if you give up your life for me, you will save it. 25 What will you gain, if you own the whole world but destroy yourself or waste your life? 26 If you are ashamed of me and my message, the Son of Man will be ashamed of you when he comes in his glory and in the glory of his Father and the holy angels. 27 You can be sure some of the people standing here will not die before they see God's kingdom.
The True Glory of Jesus
28 (M) About eight days later Jesus took Peter, John, and James with him and went up on a mountain to pray. 29 While he was praying, his face changed, and his clothes became shining white. 30 Suddenly Moses and Elijah were there speaking with him. 31 They appeared in heavenly glory and talked about all that Jesus' death[q] in Jerusalem would mean.
32 Peter and the other two disciples had been sound asleep. All at once they woke up and saw how glorious Jesus was. They also saw the two men who were with him.
33 Moses and Elijah were about to leave, when Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here! Let us make three shelters, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” But Peter did not know what he was talking about.
34 While Peter was still speaking, a shadow from a cloud passed over, and they were frightened as the cloud covered them. 35 (N) From the cloud a voice spoke, “This is my chosen Son. Listen to what he says!”
36 After the voice had spoken, Peter, John, and James saw only Jesus. For some time they kept quiet and did not say anything about what they had seen.
Jesus Heals a Boy
37 The next day Jesus and his three disciples came down from the mountain and were met by a large crowd. 38 Just then someone in the crowd shouted, “Teacher, please do something for my son! He is my only child! 39 A demon often attacks him and makes him scream. It shakes him until he foams at the mouth, and it won't leave him until it has completely worn the boy out. 40 I begged your disciples to force out the demon, but they couldn't do it.”
41 Jesus said to them, “You people are stubborn and don't have any faith! How much longer must I be with you? Why do I have to put up with you?”
Then Jesus said to the man, “Bring your son to me.” 42 While the boy was being brought, the demon attacked him and made him shake all over. Jesus ordered the demon to stop. Then he healed the boy and gave him back to his father. 43 Everyone was amazed at God's great power.
Jesus Again Speaks about His Death
While everyone was still amazed at what Jesus was doing, he said to his disciples, 44 “Pay close attention to what I am telling you! The Son of Man will be handed over to his enemies.” 45 But the disciples did not know what he meant. The meaning was hidden from them. They could not understand it, and they were afraid to ask.
Who Is the Greatest?
46 (O) Jesus' disciples were arguing about which one of them was the greatest. 47 Jesus knew what they were thinking, and he had a child stand there beside him. 48 (P) Then he said to his disciples, “When you welcome even a child because of me, you welcome me. And when you welcome me, you welcome the one who sent me. Whichever one of you is the most humble is the greatest.”
For or against Jesus
49 John said, “Master, we saw a man using your name to force demons out of people. But we told him to stop, because he isn't one of us.”
50 “Don't stop him!” Jesus said. “Anyone who isn't against you is for you.”
A Samaritan Village Refuses To Receive Jesus
51 Not long before it was time for Jesus to be taken up to heaven, he made up his mind to go to Jerusalem. 52 He sent some messengers on ahead to a Samaritan village to get things ready for him. 53 But he was on his way to Jerusalem, so the people there refused to welcome him. 54 (Q) When the disciples James and John saw what was happening, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to destroy these people?”[r]
55 But Jesus turned and corrected them for what they had said.[s] 56 Then they all went on to another village.
Three People Who Wanted To Be Followers
57 Along the way someone said to Jesus, “I'll follow you anywhere!”
58 Jesus said, “Foxes have dens, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man doesn't have a place to call his own.”
59 Jesus told someone else to come with him. But the man said, “Lord, let me wait until I bury my father.”[t]
60 Jesus answered, “Let the dead take care of the dead, while you go and tell about God's kingdom.”
61 (R) Then someone said to Jesus, “I want to follow you, Lord, but first let me go back and take care of things at home.”
62 Jesus answered, “Anyone who starts plowing and keeps looking back isn't worth a thing to God's kingdom!”
- 8.2 Magdalene: Meaning “from Magdala,” a small town on the western shore of Lake Galilee. There is no hint that she is the sinful woman in 7.36-50.
- 8.3 used what they owned to help Jesus: Women often helped Jewish teachers by giving them money.
- 8.3 Herod's officials: Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Great.
- 8.22 cross the lake: To the eastern shore of Lake Galilee, where most of the people were not Jewish.
- 8.26 Gerasa: Some manuscripts have “Gergesa.”
- 8.27 graveyard: It was thought that demons and evil spirits lived in graveyards.
- 8.31 deep pit: The place where evil spirits are kept and punished.
- 8.37 Gerasa: See the note at 8.26.
- 8.43 She had spent everything she had on doctors: Some manuscripts do not have these words.
- 8.45 from every side: Some manuscripts add “and you ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”
- 9.5 shake the dust from your feet: This was a way of showing rejection.
- 9.7 Herod: Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Great.
- 9.8 Elijah had come: Many of the Jewish people expected the prophet Elijah to come and prepare the way for the Messiah.
- 9.13 small loaves of bread: These would have been flat and round or in the shape of a bun.
- 9.19 Elijah: See the note at 9.8.
- 9.24 life: In verses 24,25 a Greek word which often means “soul” is translated “life” and “yourself.”
- 9.31 Jesus' death: In Greek this is “his departure,” which probably includes his rising to life and his return to heaven.
- 9.54 to destroy these people: Some manuscripts add “as Elijah did.”
- 9.55 what they had said: Some manuscripts add, “and said, ‘Don't you know what spirit you belong to? The Son of Man did not come to destroy people's lives, but to save them.’ ”
- 9.59 bury my father: The Jewish people taught that giving someone a proper burial was even more important than helping the poor.