About this time another great crowd had gathered, and the people ran out of food again. Jesus called his disciples and told them,
"I feel sorry for these people. They have been here with me for three days, and they have nothing left to eat.
And if I send them home without feeding them, they will faint along the road. For some of them have come a long distance."
"How are we supposed to find enough food for them here in the wilderness?" his disciples asked.
"How many loaves of bread do you have?" he asked. "Seven," they replied.
So Jesus told all the people to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves, thanked God for them, broke them into pieces, and gave them to his disciples, who distributed the bread to the crowd.
A few small fish were found, too, so Jesus also blessed these and told the disciples to pass them out.
They ate until they were full, and when the scraps were picked up, there were seven large baskets of food left over!
There were about four thousand people in the crowd that day, and he sent them home after they had eaten.
Immediately after this, he got into a boat with his disciples and crossed over to the region of Dalmanutha.
When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had arrived, they came to argue with him. Testing him to see if he was from God, they demanded, "Give us a miraculous sign from heaven to prove yourself."
When he heard this, he sighed deeply and said, "Why do you people keep demanding a miraculous sign? I assure you, I will not give this generation any such sign."
So he got back into the boat and left them, and he crossed to the other side of the lake.
But the disciples discovered they had forgotten to bring any food, so there was only one loaf of bread with them in the boat.
As they were crossing the lake, Jesus warned them, "Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and of Herod."
They decided he was saying this because they hadn't brought any bread.
Jesus knew what they were thinking, so he said, "Why are you so worried about having no food? Won't you ever learn or understand? Are your hearts too hard to take it in?
'You have eyes -- can't you see? You have ears -- can't you hear?' Don't you remember anything at all?
What about the five thousand men I fed with five loaves of bread? How many baskets of leftovers did you pick up afterward?" "Twelve," they said.
"And when I fed the four thousand with seven loaves, how many large baskets of leftovers did you pick up?" "Seven," they said.
"Don't you understand even yet?" he asked them.
When they arrived at Bethsaida, some people brought a blind man to Jesus, and they begged him to touch and heal the man.
Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village. Then, spitting on the man's eyes, he laid his hands on him and asked, "Can you see anything now?"
The man looked around. "Yes," he said, "I see people, but I can't see them very clearly. They look like trees walking around."
Then Jesus placed his hands over the man's eyes again. As the man stared intently, his sight was completely restored, and he could see everything clearly.
Jesus sent him home, saying, "Don't go back into the village on your way home."
Jesus and his disciples left Galilee and went up to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. As they were walking along, he asked them, "Who do people say I am?"
"Well," they replied, "some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say you are one of the other prophets."
Then Jesus asked, "Who do you say I am?" Peter replied, "You are the Messiah."
But Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.
Then Jesus began to tell them that he, the Son of Man, would suffer many terrible things and be rejected by the leaders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, and three days later he would rise again.
As he talked about this openly with his disciples, Peter took him aside and told him he shouldn't say things like that.
Jesus turned and looked at his disciples and then said to Peter very sternly, "Get away from me, Satan! You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God's."
Then he called his disciples and the crowds to come over and listen. "If any of you wants to be my follower," he told them, "you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross, and follow me.
If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will find true life.
And how do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul in the process?
Is anything worth more than your soul?
If a person is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, I, the Son of Man, will be ashamed of that person when I return in the glory of my Father with the holy angels."