One time when Jesus was off praying by himself, his disciples nearby, he asked them, "What are the crowds saying about me, about who I am?"
They said, "John the Baptizer. Others say Elijah. Still others say that one of the prophets from long ago has come back."
He then asked, "And you - what are you saying about me? Who am I?" Peter answered, "The Messiah of God."
Jesus then warned them to keep it quiet. They were to tell no one what Peter had said.
He went on, "It is necessary that the Son of Man proceed to an ordeal of suffering, be tried and found guilty by the religious leaders, high priests, and religion scholars, be killed, and on the third day be raised up alive."
Then he told them what they could expect for themselves: "Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You're not in the driver's seat - I am. Don't run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I'll show you how.
Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self.
What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you?
If any of you is embarrassed with me and the way I'm leading you, know that the Son of Man will be far more embarrassed with you when he arrives in all his splendor in company with the Father and the holy angels. This isn't, you realize, pie in the sky by and by.
Some who have taken their stand right here are going to see it happen, see with their own eyes the kingdom of God."
About eight days after saying this, he climbed the mountain to pray, taking Peter, John, and James along.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)