After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him. He led them up a high mountain. They were all alone. There in front of them his appearance was changed.
His clothes became so white they shone. They were whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them.
Elijah and Moses appeared in front of Jesus and his disciples. The two of them were talking with Jesus.
Peter said to Jesus, "Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters. One will be for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah."
Peter didn't really know what to say, because they were so afraid.
Then a cloud appeared and surrounded them. A voice came from the cloud. It said, "This is my Son, and I love him. Listen to him!"
They looked around. Suddenly they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus.
They came down the mountain. On the way down, Jesus ordered them not to tell anyone what they had seen. He told them to wait until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
So they kept the matter to themselves. But they asked each other what "rising from the dead" meant.
Then they asked Jesus, "Why do the teachers of the law say that Elijah has to come first?"
Jesus replied, "That's right. Elijah does come first. He makes all things new again. So why is it written that the Son of Man must suffer much and not be accepted?
I tell you, Elijah has come. They have done to him everything they wanted to do. They did it just as it is written about him."
When Jesus and those who were with him came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them. The teachers of the law were arguing with them.
When all the people saw Jesus, they were filled with wonder. And they ran to greet him.
"What are you arguing with them about?" Jesus asked.
A man in the crowd answered. "Teacher," he said, "I brought you my son. He is controlled by a spirit. Because of this, my son can't speak anymore.
When the spirit takes hold of him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth. He grinds his teeth. And his body becomes stiff. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit. But they couldn't do it."
"You unbelieving people!" Jesus replied. "How long do I have to stay with you? How long do I have to put up with you? Bring the boy to me."
So they brought him. As soon as the spirit saw Jesus, it threw the boy into a fit. He fell to the ground. He rolled around and foamed at the mouth.
Jesus asked the boy's father, "How long has he been like this?" "Since he was a child," he answered.
"The spirit has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us. Please help us."
" 'If you can'?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for the one who believes."
Right away the boy's father cried out, "I do believe! Help me overcome my unbelief!"
Jesus saw that a crowd was running over to see what was happening. Then he ordered the evil spirit to leave the boy. "You spirit that makes him unable to hear and speak!" he said. "I command you, come out of him. Never enter him again."
The spirit screamed. It shook the boy wildly. Then it came out of him. The boy looked so lifeless that many people said, "He's dead."
But Jesus took him by the hand. He lifted the boy to his feet, and the boy stood up.
Jesus went indoors. Then his disciples asked him in private, "Why couldn't we drive out the evil spirit?"
He replied, "This kind can come out only by prayer."
They left that place and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were.
That was because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, "The Son of Man is going to be handed over to men. They will kill him. After three days he will rise from the dead."
But they didn't understand what he meant. And they were afraid to ask him about it.
Jesus and his disciples came to a house in Capernaum. There he asked them, "What were you arguing about on the road?"
But they kept quiet. On the way, they had argued about which one of them was the most important person.
Jesus sat down and called for the Twelve to come to him. Then he said, "If you want to be first, you must be the very last. You must be the servant of everyone."
Jesus took a little child and had the child stand among them. Then he took the child in his arms. He said to them,
"Anyone who welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me. And anyone who welcomes me doesn't welcome only me but also the One who sent me."
"Teacher," said John, "we saw a man driving out demons in your name. We told him to stop, because he was not one of us."
"Do not stop him," Jesus said. "No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me.
Anyone who is not against us is for us.
"What I'm about to tell you is true. Suppose someone gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to me. That one will certainly not go without a reward.
"What if someone leads one of these little ones who believe in me to sin? If he does, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck.
"If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It would be better for you to enter God's kingdom with only one hand than to go into hell with two hands. In hell the fire never goes out.
"If your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It would be better for you to enter God's kingdom with only one foot than to have two feet and be thrown into hell.
"If your eye causes you to sin, poke it out. It would be better for you to enter God's kingdom with only one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell.
In hell, " 'The worms do not die. The fire is not put out.' #1(Isaiah 66:24)#2
Everyone will be salted with fire.
"Salt is good. But suppose it loses its saltiness. How can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves. And be at peace with each other."