1 Some Pharisees and Sadducees were on him again, pressing him to prove himself to them. 2 He told them, "You have a saying that goes, 'Red sky at night, sailor's delight; 3 red sky at morning, sailors take warning.' You find it easy enough to forecast the weather - why can't you read the signs of the times? 4 An evil and wanton generation is always wanting signs and wonders. The only sign you'll get is the Jonah sign." Then he turned on his heel and walked away. 5 On their way to the other side of the lake, the disciples discovered they had forgotten to bring along bread. 6 In the meantime, Jesus said to them, "Keep a sharp eye out for Pharisee-Sadducee yeast." 7 Thinking he was scolding them for forgetting bread, they discussed in whispers what to do. 8 Jesus knew what they were doing and said, "Why all these worried whispers about forgetting the bread? Runt believers! 9 Haven't you caught on yet? Don't you remember the five loaves of bread and the five thousand people, and how many baskets of fragments you picked up? 10 Or the seven loaves that fed four thousand, and how many baskets of leftovers you collected? 11 Haven't you realized yet that bread isn't the problem? The problem is yeast, Pharisee-Sadducee yeast." 12 Then they got it: that he wasn't concerned about eating, but teaching - the Pharisee-Sadducee kind of teaching. 13 When Jesus arrived in the villages of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "What are people saying about who the Son of Man is?" 14 They replied, "Some think he is John the Baptizer, some say Elijah, some Jeremiah or one of the other prophets." 15 He pressed them, "And how about you? Who do you say I am?" 16 Simon Peter said, "You're the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God." 17 Jesus came back, "God bless you, Simon, son of Jonah! You didn't get that answer out of books or from teachers. My Father in heaven, God himself, let you in on this secret of who I really am. 18 And now I'm going to tell you who you are, really are. You are Peter, a rock. This is the rock on which I will put together my church, a church so expansive with energy that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out. 19 "And that's not all. You will have complete and free access to God's kingdom, keys to open any and every door: no more barriers between heaven and earth, earth and heaven. A yes on earth is yes in heaven. A no on earth is no in heaven." 20 He swore the disciples to secrecy. He made them promise they would tell no one that he was the Messiah. 21 Then Jesus made it clear to his disciples that it was now necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, submit to an ordeal of suffering at the hands of the religious leaders, be killed, and then on the third day be raised up alive. 22 Peter took him in hand, protesting, "Impossible, Master! That can never be!" 23 But Jesus didn't swerve. "Peter, get out of my way. Satan, get lost. You have no idea how God works." 24 Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. "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. 25 Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. 26 What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for? 27 "Don't be in such a hurry to go into business for yourself. Before you know it the Son of Man will arrive with all the splendor of his Father, accompanied by an army of angels. You'll get everything you have coming to you, a personal gift. 28 This isn't pie in the sky by and by. Some of you standing here are going to see it take place, see the Son of Man in kingdom glory."
1 At about this same time he again found himself with a hungry crowd on his hands. He called his disciples together and said, 2 "This crowd is breaking my heart. They have stuck with me for three days, and now they have nothing to eat. 3 If I send them home hungry, they'll faint along the way - some of them have come a long distance." 4 His disciples responded, "What do you expect us to do about it? Buy food out here in the desert?" 5 He asked, "How much bread do you have?" "Seven loaves," they said. 6 So Jesus told the crowd to sit down on the ground. After giving thanks, he took the seven bread loaves, broke them into pieces, and gave them to his disciples so they could hand them out to the crowd. 7 They also had a few fish. He pronounced a blessing over the fish and told his disciples to hand them out as well. 8 The crowd ate its fill. Seven sacks of leftovers were collected. 9 There were well over four thousand at the meal. Then he sent them home. 10 He himself went straight to the boat with his disciples and set out for Dalmanoutha. 11 When they arrived, the Pharisees came out and started in on him, badgering him to prove himself, pushing him up against the wall. 12 Provoked, he said, "Why does this generation clamor for miraculous guarantees? If I have anything to say about it, you'll not get so much as a hint of a guarantee." 13 He then left them, got back in the boat, and headed for the other side. 14 But the disciples forgot to pack a lunch. Except for a single loaf of bread, there wasn't a crumb in the boat. 15 Jesus warned, "Be very careful. Keep a sharp eye out for the contaminating yeast of Pharisees and the followers of Herod." 16 Meanwhile, the disciples were finding fault with each other because they had forgotten to bring bread. 17 Jesus overheard and said, "Why are you fussing because you forgot bread? Don't you see the point of all this? Don't you get it at all? 18 19 Remember the five loaves I broke for the five thousand? How many baskets of leftovers did you pick up?" They said, "Twelve." 20 "And the seven loaves for the four thousand - how many bags full of leftovers did you get?" "Seven." 21 He said, "Do you still not get it?" 22 They arrived at Bethsaida. Some people brought a sightless man and begged Jesus to give him a healing touch. 23 Taking him by the hand, he led him out of the village. He put spit in the man's eyes, laid hands on him, and asked, "Do you see anything?" 24 He looked up. "I see men. They look like walking trees." 25 So Jesus laid hands on his eyes again. The man looked hard and realized that he had recovered perfect sight, saw everything in bright, twenty-twenty focus. 26 Jesus sent him straight home, telling him, "Don't enter the village." 27 Jesus and his disciples headed out for the villages around Caesarea Philippi. As they walked, he asked, "Who do the people say I am?" 28 "Some say 'John the Baptizer,'" they said. "Others say 'Elijah.' Still others say 'one of the prophets.'" 29 He then asked, "And you - what are you saying about me? Who am I?" Peter gave the answer: "You are the Christ, the Messiah." 30 Jesus warned them to keep it quiet, not to breathe a word of it to anyone. 31 He then began explaining things to them: "It is necessary that the Son of Man proceed to an ordeal of suffering, be tried and found guilty by the elders, high priests, and religion scholars, be killed, and after three days rise up alive." 32 He said this simply and clearly so they couldn't miss it. 33 Turning and seeing his disciples wavering, wondering what to believe, Jesus confronted Peter. "Peter, get out of my way! Satan, get lost! You have no idea how God works." 34 Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, "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. 35 Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. 36 What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? 37 What could you ever trade your soul for? 38 "If any of you are embarrassed over me and the way I'm leading you when you get around your fickle and unfocused friends, know that you'll be an even greater embarrassment to the Son of Man when he arrives in all the splendor of God, his Father, with an army of the holy angels."
18 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?" 19 They said, "John the Baptizer. Others say Elijah. Still others say that one of the prophets from long ago has come back." 20 He then asked, "And you - what are you saying about me? Who am I?" Peter answered, "The Messiah of God." 21 Jesus then warned them to keep it quiet. They were to tell no one what Peter had said. 22 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." 23 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. 24 Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. 25 What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? 26 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. 27 Some who have taken their stand right here are going to see it happen, see with their own eyes the kingdom of God."