1 Six days later, three of them saw that glory. Jesus took Peter and the brothers, James and John, and led them up a high mountain. 2 His appearance changed from the inside out, right before their eyes. Sunlight poured from his face. His clothes were filled with light. 3 Then they realized that Moses and Elijah were also there in deep conversation with him. 4 Peter broke in, "Master, this is a great moment! What would you think if I built three memorials here on the mountain - one for you, one for Moses, one for Elijah?" 5 While he was going on like this, babbling, a light-radiant cloud enveloped them, and sounding from deep in the cloud a voice: "This is my Son, marked by my love, focus of my delight. Listen to him." 6 When the disciples heard it, they fell flat on their faces, scared to death. 7 But Jesus came over and touched them. "Don't be afraid." 8 When they opened their eyes and looked around all they saw was Jesus, only Jesus. 9 Coming down the mountain, Jesus swore them to secrecy. "Don't breathe a word of what you've seen. After the Son of Man is raised from the dead, you are free to talk." 10 The disciples, meanwhile, were asking questions. "Why do the religion scholars say that Elijah has to come first?" 11 Jesus answered, "Elijah does come and get everything ready. 12 I'm telling you, Elijah has already come but they didn't know him when they saw him. They treated him like dirt, the same way they are about to treat the Son of Man." 13 That's when the disciples realized that all along he had been talking about John the Baptizer. 14 At the bottom of the mountain, they were met by a crowd of waiting people. As they approached, a man came out of the crowd and fell to his knees begging, 15 "Master, have mercy on my son. He goes out of his mind and suffers terribly, falling into seizures. Frequently he is pitched into the fire, other times into the river. 16 I brought him to your disciples, but they could do nothing for him." 17 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 the boy here." 18 He ordered the afflicting demon out - and it was out, gone. From that moment on the boy was well. 19 When the disciples had Jesus off to themselves, they asked, "Why couldn't we throw it out?" 20 "Because you're not yet taking God seriously," said Jesus. "The simple truth is that if you had a mere kernel of faith, a poppy seed, say, you would tell this mountain, 'Move!' and it would move. There is nothing you wouldn't be able to tackle." 22 As they were regrouping in Galilee, Jesus told them, "The Son of Man is about to be betrayed to some people who want nothing to do with God. 23 They will murder him - and three days later he will be raised alive." The disciples felt terrible. 24 When they arrived at Capernaum, the tax men came to Peter and asked, "Does your teacher pay taxes?" 25 Peter said, "Of course." But as soon as they were in the house, Jesus confronted him. "Simon, what do you think? When a king levies taxes, who pays - his children or his subjects?" 26 He answered, “His subjects.” Jesus said, “Then the children get off free, right? 27 But so we don't upset them needlessly, go down to the lake, cast a hook, and pull in the first fish that bites. Open its mouth and you'll find a coin. Take it and give it to the tax men. It will be enough for both of us."
1 Then he drove it home by saying, "This isn't pie in the sky by and by. Some of you who are standing here are going to see it happen, see the kingdom of God arrive in full force." In a Light-Radiant Cloud 2 Six days later, three of them did see it. Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain. His appearance changed from the inside out, right before their eyes. 3 His clothes shimmered, glistening white, whiter than any bleach could make them. 4 Elijah, along with Moses, came into view, in deep conversation with Jesus. 5 Peter interrupted, "Rabbi, this is a great moment! Let's build three memorials - one for you, one for Moses, one for Elijah." 6 He blurted this out without thinking, stunned as they all were by what they were seeing. 7 Just then a light-radiant cloud enveloped them, and from deep in the cloud, a voice: "This is my Son, marked by my love. Listen to him." 8 The next minute the disciples were looking around, rubbing their eyes, seeing nothing but Jesus, only Jesus. 9 Coming down the mountain, Jesus swore them to secrecy. "Don't tell a soul what you saw. After the Son of Man rises from the dead, you're free to talk." 10 They puzzled over that, wondering what on earth "rising from the dead" meant. 11 Meanwhile they were asking, "Why do the religion scholars say that Elijah has to come first?" 12 Jesus replied, "Elijah does come first and get everything ready for the coming of the Son of Man. They treated this Elijah like dirt, much like they will treat the Son of Man, who will, according to Scripture, suffer terribly and be kicked around contemptibly." 13 14 When they came back down the mountain to the other disciples, they saw a huge crowd around them, and the religion scholars cross-examining them. 15 As soon as the people in the crowd saw Jesus, admiring excitement stirred them. They ran and greeted him. 16 He asked, "What's going on? What's all the commotion?" 17 A man out of the crowd answered, "Teacher, I brought my mute son, made speechless by a demon, to you. 18 Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and goes stiff as a board. I told your disciples, hoping they could deliver him, but they couldn't." 19 Jesus said, "What a generation! No sense of God! How many times do I have to go over these things? How much longer do I have to put up with this? Bring the boy here." 20 They brought him. When the demon saw Jesus, it threw the boy into a seizure, causing him to writhe on the ground and foam at the mouth. 21 He asked the boy's father, "How long has this been going on?" 22 Many times it pitches him into fire or the river to do away with him. If you can do anything, do it. Have a heart and help us!" 23 Jesus said, "If? There are no 'ifs' among believers. Anything can happen." 24 No sooner were the words out of his mouth than the father cried, "Then I believe. Help me with my doubts!" 25 Seeing that the crowd was forming fast, Jesus gave the vile spirit its marching orders: "Dumb and deaf spirit, I command you - Out of him, and stay out!" 26 Screaming, and with much thrashing about, it left. The boy was pale as a corpse, so people started saying, "He's dead." 27 But Jesus, taking his hand, raised him. The boy stood up. 28 After arriving back home, his disciples cornered Jesus and asked, "Why couldn't we throw the demon out?" 29 He answered, "There is no way to get rid of this kind of demon except by prayer." 30 Leaving there, they went through Galilee. He didn't want anyone to know their whereabouts, 31 for he wanted to teach his disciples. He told them, "The Son of Man is about to be betrayed to some people who want nothing to do with God. They will murder him. Three days after his murder, he will rise, alive." 32 They didn't know what he was talking about, but were afraid to ask him about it. 33 They came to Capernaum. When he was safe at home, he asked them, "What were you discussing on the road?" 34 The silence was deafening - they had been arguing with one another over who among them was greatest. 35 He sat down and summoned the Twelve. "So you want first place? Then take the last place. Be the servant of all." 36 He put a child in the middle of the room. Then, cradling the little one in his arms, he said, 37 "Whoever embraces one of these children as I do embraces me, and far more than me - God who sent me." 38 John spoke up, "Teacher, we saw a man using your name to expel demons and we stopped him because he wasn't in our group." 39 Jesus wasn't pleased. "Don't stop him. No one can use my name to do something good and powerful, and in the next breath cut me down. 40 If he's not an enemy, he's an ally. 41 Why, anyone by just giving you a cup of water in my name is on our side. Count on it that God will notice. 42 "On the other hand, if you give one of these simple, childlike believers a hard time, bullying or taking advantage of their simple trust, you'll soon wish you hadn't. You'd be better off dropped in the middle of the lake with a millstone around your neck. 43 "If your hand or your foot gets in God's way, chop it off and throw it away. You're better off maimed or lame and alive than the proud owner of two hands and two feet, godless in a furnace of eternal fire. 44 45 47 And if your eye distracts you from God, pull it out and throw it away. 48 You're better off one-eyed and alive than exercising your twenty-twenty vision from inside the fire of hell. 49 "Everyone's going through a refining fire sooner or later, 50 but you'll be well-preserved, protected from the eternal flames. Be preservatives yourselves. Preserve the peace."
28 About eight days after saying this, he climbed the mountain to pray, taking Peter, John, and James along. 29 While he was in prayer, the appearance of his face changed and his clothes became blinding white. 30 At once two men were there talking with him. They turned out to be Moses and Elijah - 31 and what a glorious appearance they made! They talked over his exodus, the one Jesus was about to complete in Jerusalem. 32 Meanwhile, Peter and those with him were slumped over in sleep. When they came to, rubbing their eyes, they saw Jesus in his glory and the two men standing with him. 33 When Moses and Elijah had left, Peter said to Jesus, "Master, this is a great moment! Let's build three memorials: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." He blurted this out without thinking. 34 While he was babbling on like this, a light-radiant cloud enveloped them. As they found themselves buried in the cloud, they became deeply aware of God. 35 Then there was a voice out of the cloud: "This is my Son, the Chosen! Listen to him." 36 When the sound of the voice died away, they saw Jesus there alone. They were speechless. And they continued speechless, said not one thing to anyone during those days of what they had seen. 37 When they came down off the mountain the next day, a big crowd was there to meet them. 38 A man called from out of the crowd, "Please, please, Teacher, take a look at my son. He's my only child. 39 Often a spirit seizes him. Suddenly he's screaming, thrown into convulsions, his mouth foaming. And then it beats him black and blue before it leaves. 40 I asked your disciples to deliver him but they couldn't." 41 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." 42 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. 43 They all shook their heads in wonder, astonished at God's greatness, God's majestic greatness. 44 "Treasure and ponder each of these next words: The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into human hands." 45 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. 46 They started arguing over which of them would be most famous. 47 When Jesus realized how much this mattered to them, he brought a child to his side. 48 "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." 49 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." 50 Jesus said, "Don't stop him. If he's not an enemy, he's an ally." 51 When it came close to the time for his Ascension, he gathered up his courage and steeled himself for the journey to Jerusalem. 52 He sent messengers on ahead. They came to a Samaritan village to make arrangements for his hospitality. 53 But when the Samaritans learned that his destination was Jerusalem, they refused hospitality. 54 When the disciples James and John learned of it, they said, "Master, do you want us to call a bolt of lightning down out of the sky and incinerate them?" 55 Jesus turned on them: "Of course not!" 56 And they traveled on to another village. 57 On the road someone asked if he could go along. "I'll go with you, wherever," he said. 58 Jesus was curt: "Are you ready to rough it? We're not staying in the best inns, you know." 59 Jesus said to another, "Follow me." He said, "Certainly, but first excuse me for a couple of days, please. I have to make arrangements for my father's funeral." 60 Jesus refused. "First things first. Your business is life, not death. And life is urgent: Announce God's kingdom!" 61 Then another said, "I'm ready to follow you, Master, but first excuse me while I get things straightened out at home." 62 Jesus said, "No procrastination. No backward looks. You can't put God's kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the day."