Contemporary English Version
Jesus Feeds Four Thousand
8 One day another large crowd gathered around Jesus. They had not brought along anything to eat. So Jesus called his disciples together and said, 2 “I feel sorry for these people. They have been with me for three days, and they don’t have anything to eat. 3 Some of them live a long way from here. If I send them away hungry, they might faint on their way home.”
4 The disciples said, “This place is like a desert. Where can we find enough food to feed such a crowd?”
5 Jesus asked them how much food they had. They replied, “Seven small loaves of bread.”[a]
6 After Jesus told the crowd to sit down, he took the seven loaves and blessed them. He then broke the loaves and handed them to his disciples, who passed them out to the crowd. 7 They also had a few little fish, and after Jesus had blessed these, he told the disciples to pass them around.
8-9 The crowd of about four thousand people ate all they wanted, and the leftovers filled seven large baskets.
As soon as Jesus had sent the people away, 10 he got into the boat with the disciples and crossed to the territory near Dalmanutha.[b]
A Sign from Heaven
11 The Pharisees came out and started an argument with Jesus. They wanted to test him by asking for a sign from heaven. 12 Jesus groaned and said, “Why are you always looking for a sign? I can promise you that you will not be given one!” 13 Then he left them. He again got into a boat and crossed over to the other side of the lake.
The Yeast of the Pharisees and of Herod
14 The disciples had forgotten to bring any bread, and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. 15 Jesus warned them, “Watch out! Guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and of Herod.”[c]
16 The disciples talked this over and said to each other, “He must be saying this because we don’t have any bread.”
17 Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you talking about not having any bread? Don’t you understand? Are your minds still closed? 18 Are your eyes blind and your ears deaf? Don’t you remember 19 how many baskets of leftovers you picked up when I fed those five thousand people with only five small loaves of bread?”
“Yes,” the disciples answered. “There were twelve baskets.”
20 Jesus then asked, “And how many baskets of leftovers did you pick up when I broke seven small loaves of bread for those four thousand people?”
“Seven,” they answered.
21 “Don’t you know what I am talking about by now?” Jesus asked.
Jesus Heals a Blind Man at Bethsaida
22 As Jesus and his disciples were going into Bethsaida, some people brought a blind man to him and begged him to touch the man. 23 Jesus took him by the hand and led him out of the village, where he spit into the man’s eyes. He placed his hands on the blind man and asked him if he could see anything. 24 The man looked up and said, “I see people, but they look like trees walking around.”
25 Once again Jesus placed his hands on the man’s eyes, and this time the man stared. His eyes were healed, and he saw everything clearly. 26 Jesus said to him, “You may return home now, but don’t go into the village.”
Who Is Jesus?
27 Jesus and his disciples went to the villages near the town of Caesarea Philippi. As they were walking along, he asked them, “What do people say about me?”
28 The disciples answered, “Some say you are John the Baptist or maybe Elijah.[d] Others say you are one of the prophets.”
29 Then Jesus asked them, “But who do you say I am?”
“You are the Messiah!” Peter replied.
30 Jesus warned the disciples not to tell anyone about him.
Jesus Speaks about His Suffering and Death
31 Jesus began telling his disciples what would happen to him. He said, “The nation’s leaders, the chief priests, and the teachers of the Law of Moses will make the Son of Man suffer terribly. He will be rejected and killed, but three days later he will rise to life.” 32 Then Jesus explained clearly what he meant.
Peter took Jesus aside and told him to stop talking like that. 33 But when Jesus turned and saw the disciples, he corrected Peter. He said to him, “Satan, get away from me! You are thinking like everyone else and not like God.”
34 Jesus then told the crowd and the disciples to come closer, and he said:
If any of you want to be my followers, you must forget about yourself. You must take up your cross and follow me. 35 If you want to save your life,[e] you will destroy it. But if you give up your life for me and for the good news, you will save it. 36 What will you gain, if you own the whole world but destroy yourself? 37 What could you give to get back your soul?
38 Don’t be ashamed of me and my message among these unfaithful and sinful people! If you are, the Son of Man will be ashamed of you when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.
9 I can assure you that some of the people standing here will not die before they see God’s kingdom come with power.
The True Glory of Jesus
2 Six days later Jesus took Peter, James, and John with him. They went up on a high mountain, where they could be alone. There in front of the disciples, Jesus was completely changed. 3 And his clothes became much whiter than any bleach on earth could make them. 4 Then Moses and Elijah were there talking with Jesus.
5 Peter said to Jesus, “Teacher, it is good for us to be here! Let us make three shelters, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 6 But Peter and the others were terribly frightened, and he did not know what he was talking about.
7 The shadow of a cloud passed over and covered them. From the cloud a voice said, “This is my Son, and I love him. Listen to what he says!” 8 At once the disciples looked around, but they saw only Jesus.
9 As Jesus and his disciples were coming down the mountain, he told them not to say a word about what they had seen, until the Son of Man had been raised from death. 10 So they kept it to themselves. But they wondered what he meant by the words “raised from death.”
11 The disciples asked Jesus, “Don’t the teachers of the Law of Moses say that Elijah must come before the Messiah does?”
12 Jesus answered:
Elijah certainly will come[f] to get everything ready. But don’t the Scriptures also say that the Son of Man must suffer terribly and be rejected? 13 I can assure you that Elijah has already come. And people treated him just as they wanted to, as the Scriptures say they would.
Jesus Heals a Boy
14 When Jesus and his three disciples came back down, they saw a large crowd around the other disciples. The teachers of the Law of Moses were arguing with them.
15 The crowd was really surprised to see Jesus, and everyone hurried over to greet him.
16 Jesus asked, “What are you arguing about?”
17 Someone from the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought my son to you. A demon keeps him from talking. 18 Whenever the demon attacks my son, it throws him to the ground and makes him foam at the mouth and grit his teeth in pain. Then he becomes stiff. I asked your disciples to force out the demon, but they couldn’t do it.”
19 Jesus said, “You people don’t have any faith! How much longer must I be with you? Why do I have to put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”
20 They brought the boy, and as soon as the demon saw Jesus, it made the boy shake all over. He fell down and began rolling on the ground and foaming at the mouth.
21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”
The man answered, “Ever since he was a child. 22 The demon has often tried to kill him by throwing him into a fire or into water. Please have pity and help us if you can!”
23 Jesus replied, “Why do you say ‘if you can’? Anything is possible for someone who has faith!”
24 Right away the boy’s father shouted, “I do have faith! Please help me to have even more.”
25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was gathering fast, he spoke sternly to the evil spirit that had kept the boy from speaking or hearing. He said, “I order you to come out of the boy! Don’t ever bother him again.”
26 The spirit screamed and made the boy shake all over. Then it went out of him. The boy looked dead, and almost everyone said he was. 27 But Jesus took hold of his hand and helped him stand up.
28 After Jesus and the disciples had gone back home and were alone, they asked him, “Why couldn’t we force out that demon?”
29 Jesus answered, “Only prayer can force out that kind of demon.”
Jesus Again Speaks about His Death
30 Jesus left with his disciples and started through Galilee. He did not want anyone to know about it, 31 because he was teaching the disciples that the Son of Man would be handed over to people who would kill him. But three days later he would rise to life. 32 The disciples did not understand what Jesus meant, and they were afraid to ask.
Who Is the Greatest?
33 Jesus and his disciples went to his home in Capernaum. After they were inside the house, Jesus asked them, “What were you arguing about along the way?” 34 They had been arguing about which one of them was the greatest, and so they did not answer.
35 After Jesus sat down and told the twelve disciples to gather around him, he said, “If you want the place of honor, you must become a slave and serve others!”
36 Then Jesus had a child stand near him. He put his arm around the child and said, 37 “When you welcome even a child because of me, you welcome me. And when you welcome me, you welcome the one who sent me.”
For or against Jesus
38 John said, “Teacher, we saw a man using your name to force demons out of people. But he wasn’t one of us, and we told him to stop.”
39 Jesus said to his disciples:
Don’t stop him! No one who works miracles in my name will soon turn and say something bad about me. 40 Anyone who isn’t against us is for us. 41 And anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name, just because you belong to me, will surely be rewarded.
Temptations To Sin
42 It will be terrible for people who cause even one of my little followers to sin. Those people would be better off thrown into the ocean with a heavy stone tied around their necks. 43-44 So if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off! You would be better off to go into life crippled than to have two hands and be thrown into the fires of hell that never go out.[g] 45-46 If your foot causes you to sin, chop it off. You would be better off to go into life lame than to have two feet and be thrown into hell.[h] 47 If your eye causes you to sin, get rid of it. You would be better off to go into God’s kingdom with only one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell. 48 The worms there never die, and the fire never stops burning.
49 Everyone must be salted with fire.[i]
50 Salt is good. But if it no longer tastes like salt, how can it be made salty again? Have salt among you and live at peace with each other.[j]
- 8.5 small loaves of bread: See the note at 6.38.
- 8.10 Dalmanutha: The place is unknown.
- 8.15 Herod: Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Great.
- 8.28 Elijah: See the note at 6.15.
- 8.35 life: In verses 35-37 the same Greek word is translated “life,” “yourself,” and “soul.”
- 9.12 Elijah certainly will come: See the note at 6.15.
- 9.43,44 never go out: Some manuscripts add, “The worms there never die, and the fire never stops burning.”
- 9.45,46 thrown into hell: Some manuscripts add, “The worms there never die, and the fire never stops burning.”
- 9.49 salted with fire: Some manuscripts add “and every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt.” The verse may mean that Christ’s followers must suffer because of their faith.
- 9.50 Have salt among you and live at peace with each other: This may mean that when Christ’s followers have to suffer because of their faith, they must still try to live at peace with each other.