Soon afterwards He was traveling from one town and village to another, preaching and telling the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with Him,
and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and sicknesses: Mary, called Magdalene (seven demons had come out of her);
Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward; Susanna; and many others who were supporting them from their possessions.
As a large crowd was gathering, and people were flocking to Him from every town, He said in a parable:
"A sower went out to sow his seed. As he was sowing, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the sky ate it up.
Other seed fell on the rock; when it sprang up, it withered, since it lacked moisture.
Other seed fell among thorns; the thorns sprang up with it and choked it.
Still other seed fell on good ground; when it sprang up, it produced a crop: 100 times [what was sown]." As He said this, He called out, "Anyone who has ears to hear should listen!"
Then His disciples asked Him, "What does this parable mean?"
So He said, "The secrets of the kingdom of God have been given for you to know, but to the rest it is in parables, so that Looking they may not see, and hearing they may not understand. "
"This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God.
The seeds along the path are those who have heard. Then the Devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.
And the seeds on the rock are those who, when they hear, welcome the word with joy. Having no root, these believe for a while and depart in a time of testing.
As for the seed that fell among thorns, these are the ones who, when they have heard, go on their way and are choked with worries, riches, and pleasures of life, and produce no mature fruit.
But the seed in the good ground-these are the ones who, having heard the word with an honest and good heart, hold on to it and by enduring, bear fruit.
"No one, after lighting a lamp, covers it with a basket or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a lampstand so that those who come in may see the light.
For nothing is concealed that won't be revealed, and nothing hidden that won't be made known and come to light.
Therefore, take care how you listen. For whoever has, more will be given to him; and whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken away from him."
Then His mother and brothers came to Him, but they could not meet with Him because of the crowd.
He was told, "Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, wanting to see You."
But He replied to them, "My mother and My brothers are those who hear and do the word of God."
One day He and His disciples got into a boat, and He told them, "Let's cross over to the other side of the lake." So they set out,
and as they were sailing He fell asleep. Then a fierce windstorm came down on the lake; they were being swamped and were in danger.
They came and woke Him up, saying, "Master, Master, we're going to die!" Then He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waves. So they ceased, and there was a calm.
He said to them, "Where is your faith?" They were fearful and amazed, asking one another, "Who can this be? He commands even the winds and the waves, and they obey Him!"
Then they sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee.
When He got out on land, a demon-possessed man from the town met Him. For a long time he had worn no clothes and did not stay in a house but in the tombs.
When he saw Jesus, he cried out, fell down before Him, and said in a loud voice, "What do You have to do with me, Jesus, You Son of the Most High God? I beg You, don't torment me!"
For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and although he was guarded, bound by chains and shackles, he would snap the restraints and be driven by the demon into deserted places.
"What is your name?" Jesus asked him. "Legion," he said-because many demons had entered him.
And they begged Him not to banish them to the abyss.
A large herd of pigs was there, feeding on the hillside. The demons begged Him to permit them to enter the pigs, and He gave them permission.
The demons came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and drowned.
When the men who tended them saw what had happened, they ran off and reported it in the town and in the countryside.
Then people went out to see what had happened. They came to Jesus and found the man the demons had departed from, sitting at Jesus' feet, dressed and in his right mind. And they were afraid.
Meanwhile the eyewitnesses reported to them how the demon-possessed man was delivered.
Then all the people of the Gerasene region asked Him to leave them, because they were gripped by great fear. So getting into the boat, He returned.
The man from whom the demons had departed kept begging Him to be with Him. But He sent him away and said,
"Go back to your home, and tell all that God has done for you." And off he went, proclaiming throughout the town all that Jesus had done for him.
When Jesus returned, the crowd welcomed Him, for they were all expecting Him.
Just then, a man named Jairus came. He was a leader of the synagogue. He fell down at Jesus' feet and pleaded with Him to come to his house,
because he had an only daughter about 12 years old, and she was at death's door. While He was going, the crowds were nearly crushing Him.
A woman suffering from bleeding for 12 years, who had spent all she had on doctors yet could not be healed by any,
approached from behind and touched the tassel of His robe. Instantly her bleeding stopped.
"Who touched Me?" Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, "Master, the crowds are hemming You in and pressing against You."
"Somebody did touch Me," said Jesus. "I know that power has gone out from Me."
When the woman saw that she was discovered, she came trembling and fell down before Him. In the presence of all the people, she declared the reason she had touched Him and how she was instantly cured.
"Daughter," He said to her, "your faith has made you well. Go in peace."
While He was still speaking, someone came from the synagogue leader's [house], saying, "Your daughter is dead. Don't bother the Teacher anymore."
When Jesus heard it, He answered him, "Don't be afraid. Only believe, and she will be made well."
After He came to the house, He let no one enter with Him except Peter, John, James, and the child's father and mother.
Everyone was crying and mourning for her. But He said, "Stop crying, for she is not dead but asleep."
They started laughing at Him, because they knew she was dead.
So He took her by the hand and called out, "Child, get up!"
Her spirit returned, and she got up at once. Then He gave orders that she be given something to eat.
Her parents were astounded, but He instructed them to tell no one what had happened.
Summoning the Twelve, He gave them power and authority over all the demons, and [power] to heal diseases.
Then He sent them to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
"Take nothing for the road," He told them, "no walking stick, no traveling bag, no bread, no money; and don't take an extra shirt.
Whatever house you enter, stay there and leave from there.
If they do not welcome you, when you leave that town, shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them."
So they went out and traveled from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing everywhere.
Herod the tetrarch heard about everything that was going on. He was perplexed, because some said that John had been raised from the dead,
some that Elijah had appeared, and others that one of the ancient prophets had risen.
"I beheaded John," Herod said, "but who is this I hear such things about?" And he wanted to see Him.
When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus all that they had done. He took them along and withdrew privately to a town called Bethsaida.
When the crowds found out, they followed Him. He welcomed them, spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and cured those who needed healing.
Late in the day, the Twelve approached and said to Him, "Send the crowd away, so they can go into the surrounding villages and countryside to find food and lodging, because we are in a deserted place here."
"You give them something to eat," He told them. "We have no more than five loaves and two fish," they said, "unless we go and buy food for all these people."
(For about 5,000 men were there.) Then He told His disciples, "Have them sit down in groups of about 50 each."
They did so, and had them all sit down.
Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke them. He kept giving them to the disciples to set before the crowd.
Everyone ate and was filled. Then they picked up 12 baskets of leftover pieces.
While He was praying in private and His disciples were with Him, He asked them, "Who do the crowds say that I am?"
They answered, "John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, that one of the ancient prophets has come back."
"But you," He asked them, "who do you say that I am?" Peter answered, "God's Messiah!"
But He strictly warned and instructed them to tell this to no one,
saying, "The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, be killed, and be raised the third day."
Then He said to [them] all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it.
What is a man benefited if he gains the whole world, yet loses or forfeits himself?
For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory and that of the Father and the holy angels.
I tell you the truth: there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God."
About eight days after these words, He took along Peter, John, and James, and went up on the mountain to pray.
As He was praying, the appearance of His face changed, and His clothes became dazzling white.
Suddenly, two men were talking with Him-Moses and Elijah.
They appeared in glory and were speaking of His death, which He was about to accomplish in Jerusalem.
Peter and those with him were in a deep sleep, and when they became fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men who were standing with Him.
As the two men were departing from Him, Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it's good for us to be here! Let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah"-not knowing what he said.
While he was saying this, a cloud appeared and overshadowed them. They became afraid as they entered the cloud.
Then a voice came from the cloud, saying: This is My Son, the Chosen One; listen to Him!
After the voice had spoken, only Jesus was found. They kept silent, and in those days told no one what they had seen.
The next day, when they came down from the mountain, a large crowd met Him.
Just then a man from the crowd cried out, "Teacher, I beg You to look at my son, because he's my only [child].
Often a spirit seizes him; suddenly he shrieks, and it throws him into convulsions until he foams at the mouth; wounding him, it hardly ever leaves him.
I begged Your disciples to drive it out, but they couldn't."
Jesus replied, "You unbelieving and rebellious generation! How long will I be with you and put up with you? Bring your son here."
As the boy was still approaching, the demon knocked him down and threw him into severe convulsions. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, cured the boy, and gave him back to his father.
And they were all astonished at the greatness of God. While everyone was amazed at all the things He was doing, He told His disciples,
"Let these words sink in: the Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men."
But they did not understand this statement; it was concealed from them so that they could not grasp it, and they were afraid to ask Him about it.
Then an argument started among them about who would be the greatest of them.
But Jesus, knowing the thoughts of their hearts, took a little child and had him stand next to Him.
He told them, "Whoever welcomes this little child in My name welcomes Me. And whoever welcomes Me welcomes Him who sent Me. For whoever is least among you-this one is great."
John responded, "Master, we saw someone driving out demons in Your name, and we tried to stop him because he does not follow us."
"Don't stop him," Jesus told him, "because whoever is not against you is for you."
When the days were coming to a close for Him to be taken up, He determined to journey to Jerusalem.
He sent messengers ahead of Him, and on the way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make preparations for Him.
But they did not welcome Him, because He determined to journey to Jerusalem.
When the disciples James and John saw this, they said, "Lord, do You want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?"
But He turned and rebuked them,
and they went to another village.
As they were traveling on the road someone said to Him, "I will follow You wherever You go!"
Jesus told him, "Foxes have dens, and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head."
Then He said to another, "Follow Me." "Lord," he said, "first let me go bury my father."
But He told him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and spread the news of the kingdom of God."
Another also said, "I will follow You, Lord, but first let me go and say good-bye to those at my house."
But Jesus said to him, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God."