Once when Jesus was praying1 in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, "Who do the crowds say I am?"
They replied, "Some say John the Baptist;2 others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life."3
"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" Peter answered, "The Christ of God."4
Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone.5
And he said, "The Son of Man6 must suffer many things7 and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law,8 and he must be killed9 and on the third day10 be raised to life."11
Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.12
For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.13
What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self ?
If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him14 when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.15
I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God."
About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James16 with him and went up onto a mountain to pray.17
As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning.
Two men, Moses and Elijah,
appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure,18 which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem.
Peter and his companions were very sleepy,19 but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him.
As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, "Master,20 it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters--one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah." (He did not know what he was saying.)
While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud.
A voice came from the cloud, saying, "This is my Son, whom I have chosen;21 listen to him."22
When the voice had spoken, they found that Jesus was alone. The disciples kept this to themselves, and told no one at that time what they had seen.23
The next day, when they came down from the mountain, a large crowd met him.
A man in the crowd called out, "Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, for he is my only child.
A spirit seizes him and he suddenly screams; it throws him into convulsions so that he foams at the mouth. It scarcely ever leaves him and is destroying him.
I begged your disciples to drive it out, but they could not."
"O unbelieving and perverse generation,"24 Jesus replied, "how long shall I stay with you and put up with you? Bring your son here."
Even while the boy was coming, the demon threw him to the ground in a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the evil spirit, healed the boy and gave him back to his father.
And they were all amazed at the greatness of God. While everyone was marveling at all that Jesus did, he said to his disciples,
"Listen carefully to what I am about to tell you: The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men."25
But they did not understand what this meant. It was hidden from them, so that they did not grasp it,26 and they were afraid to ask him about it.
An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest.27
Jesus, knowing their thoughts,28 took a little child and had him stand beside him.
Then he said to them, "Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.29 For he who is least among you all--he is the greatest."30
"Master,"31 said John, "we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us."
"Do not stop him," Jesus said, "for whoever is not against you is for you."32