Jesus went off with his disciples to the sea to get away. But a huge crowd from Galilee trailed after them -
also from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, across the Jordan, and around Tyre and Sidon - swarms of people who had heard the reports and had come to see for themselves.
He told his disciples to get a boat ready so he wouldn't be trampled by the crowd.
He had healed many people, and now everyone who had something wrong was pushing and shoving to get near and touch him.
Evil spirits, when they recognized him, fell down and cried out, "You are the Son of God!"
But Jesus would have none of it. He shut them up, forbidding them to identify him in public.
He climbed a mountain and invited those he wanted with him. They climbed together.
He settled on twelve, and designated them apostles. The plan was that they would be with him, and he would send them out to proclaim the Word
and give them authority to banish demons.
These are the Twelve: Simon (Jesus later named him Peter, meaning "Rock"),
James, son of Zebedee, John, brother of James (Jesus nicknamed the Zebedee brothers Boanerges, meaning "Sons of Thunder"),
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)