Jesus said, "What a generation! No sense of God! No focus to your lives! How many times do I have to go over these things? How much longer do I have to put up with this? Bring your son here."
While he was coming, the demon slammed him to the ground and threw him into convulsions. Jesus stepped in, ordered the vile spirit gone, healed the boy, and handed him back to his father.
They all shook their heads in wonder, astonished at God's greatness, God's majestic greatness.
"Treasure and ponder each of these next words: The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into human hands."
They didn't get what he was saying. It was like he was speaking a foreign language and they couldn't make heads or tails of it. But they were embarrassed to ask him what he meant.
They started arguing over which of them would be most famous.
When Jesus realized how much this mattered to them, he brought a child to his side.
"Whoever accepts this child as if the child were me, accepts me," he said. "And whoever accepts me, accepts the One who sent me. You become great by accepting, not asserting. Your spirit, not your size, makes the difference."
John spoke up, "Master, we saw a man using your name to expel demons and we stopped him because he wasn't of our group."
Jesus said, "Don't stop him. If he's not an enemy, he's an ally."
When it came close to the time for his Ascension, he gathered up his courage and steeled himself for the journey to Jerusalem.
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)