Jesus called the twelve disciples together. He gave them power and authority over all demons, and the ability to heal diseases. Then he sent them out to proclaim God's kingdom and to heal the sick.
Take nothing with you for the journey,” he told them. “No staff, no bag, no bread, no money, not even any extra clothes. Whatever house you enter, stay there, and when you leave, leave from there. If people refuse to accept you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave town as a warning against them.” They left and went around the villages, announcing the good news and healing everywhere they went.
Herod the tetrarch had heard about all that was happening,* and he was very puzzled. Some were saying that John had been raised from the dead; others that Elijah had appeared; still others that one of the ancient prophets had come back to life.
Herod said, “There's no question I beheaded John. So who is this man? I'm hearing all these things about him.” And he tried to find a way to meet Jesus.
10 When the apostles returned they reported to Jesus what they had done. Then he left with them and went to a town called Bethsaida. 11 However, the crowds found out where he was going and followed him there. He welcomed them and explained the kingdom of God to them, and healed those who needed healing.
12 Late in the day, the twelve disciples came to him and said, “You should send the crowd away now so they can go to the villages and farms nearby and find a place to stay and food to eatthere's nothing here where we are.”
13 You give them something to eat!” said Jesus.
All we have here are five loaves and two fishunless you want us to go and buy food for everyone,” they said. 14 There were about five thousand men present.
Sit them down in groups of about fifty,” he told his disciples. 15 The disciples did so, and everybody sat down. 16 Jesus picked up the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he blessed the food and broke it into pieces. He kept on giving the food to the disciples to share with the people. 17 Everybody ate until they were full, and then twelve baskets of leftovers were collected.
18 At another time, when Jesus was praying in private with just his disciples with him, he asked them, “All these crowds of peoplewho do they say I am?”
19 Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and still others say one of the ancient prophets risen from the dead,” they replied.
20 But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
God's Messiah,” Peter replied.
21 Jesus gave them strict orders not to tell anybody about this. 22 The Son of man must experience terrible sufferings,” he said. “He will be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the religious teachers. He will be killed, but on the third day he will rise again.”
23 If any one of you wants to follow me, you must deny yourself, pick up your cross daily, and follow me,” Jesus told all of them. 24 For if you want to save your life, you will lose it; and if you lose your life for my sake, you will save it. 25 What do you benefit by gaining the whole world if you end up lost or destroyed? 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 the Father and the holy angels. 27 I tell you the truth, some standing here won't taste death until they see the kingdom of God.”
28 About eight days later, after he had told them this, Jesus took Peter, John, and James with him and went up a mountain to pray. 29 While he was praying, his face changed in appearance, and his clothing became a dazzling white. 30 Two men appeared in brilliant glory. They were Moses and Elijah, and they began to talk with Jesus. 31 They spoke about his death, which would soon happen in Jerusalem.
32 Peter and the others were asleep. When they woke up they saw Jesus in his glory, and the two men standing next to him. 33 As the two men were about to leave, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it's great to be here. Let's make some shelters: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He really didn't know what he was saying.
34 While he was speaking a cloud came and spread over them. They were terrified as they entered the cloud.
35 A voice spoke from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, the Chosen One. Listen to him!” 36 When the voice finished speaking, Jesus was there alone. They kept this to themselves, and didn't tell anyone at that time what they'd seen.
37 The next day, when they had come down the mountain, a huge crowd was waiting to meet Jesus. 38 A man in the crowd called out, “Teacher, please look at my son. He's my only child. 39 A spirit possesses him and he screams immediately. It sends him into convulsions and makes him foam at the mouth. It hardly ever leaves him alone and it causes him a lot of pain. 40 I begged your disciples to drive it out, but they couldn't.”
41 What an unbelieving and corrupt people you are! How long do I have to remain here with you, and put up with you?” said Jesus. “Bring your son here.” 42 Even as the boy came over, the demon sent him into convulsions, throwing him to the ground. But Jesus intervened, rebuking the evil spirit and healing the boy, and then gave him back to his father. 43 Everyone was amazed at this demonstration of God's power. However, even though everyone was amazed by all he did, Jesus warned his disciples, 44 “Listen carefully to what I'm telling you: the Son of man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men.”
45 But they didn't understand what this meant. Its meaning was hidden from them so they didn't realize its implications, and they were afraid to ask him about it.
46 Then an argument started among the disciples about which of them was the greatest. 47 But Jesus, knowing what they were arguing about, picked up and placed a small child next to him.
48 Then he said to them, “Anyone who accepts this little child in my name accepts me, and anyone who accepts me accepts the one who sent me. Whoever is least among you all is the greatest.”
49 John spoke up, saying, “Master, we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him because he wasn't one of us.”
50 “Don't stop him,” Jesus replied. “Anyone who isn't against you is for you.”
51 As the time approached for him to ascend to heaven, Jesus was determined to go to Jerusalem. 52 He sent messengers on ahead to a Samaritan village to get things ready for him. 53 But the people would not welcome him because he was determined to press on to Jerusalem. 54 When James and John saw this, they asked Jesus, “Master, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to burn them up?” 55 But Jesus turned, and reprimanded them. 56 Then they proceeded to another village.
57 While they were walking, one man told Jesus, “I will follow you wherever you go!”
58 Jesus told the man, “Foxes have their dens, and wild birds have their nests, but the Son of man doesn't even have a place to rest his head.”
59 He told another man, “Follow me.” But the man replied, “Master, first let me go home and bury my father.”
60 Let the dead bury their own dead,” Jesus replied. “You go and proclaim God's kingdom.”
61 Another man said, “Lord, I will follow you! But first let me go home and say goodbye to my family.”
62 But Jesus told him, “Nobody once they've started plowing and then looks back is fit for God's kingdom.”
* 9:7 Particularly in reference to Jesus. 9:9 Implied; reflecting the fact that the “I” is emphatic. 9:31 Literally, “departure.”