Jesus went on to say, "I assure you that some of you standing here right now will not die before you see the Kingdom of God arrive in great power!"2
Six days later Jesus took Peter, James, and John to the top of a mountain. No one else was there. As the men watched, Jesus' appearance changed,
and his clothing became dazzling white, far whiter than any earthly process could ever make it.
Then Elijah and Moses appeared and began talking with Jesus.
"Teacher, this is wonderful!" Peter exclaimed. "We will make three shrines a -- one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah."
He didn't really know what to say, for they were all terribly afraid.
Then a cloud came over them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my beloved Son. Listen to him."
Suddenly they looked around, and Moses and Elijah were gone, and only Jesus was with them.
As they descended the mountainside, he told them not to tell anyone what they had seen until he, the Son of Man, had risen from the dead.
So they kept it to themselves, but they often asked each other what he meant by "rising from the dead."
Now they began asking him, "Why do the teachers of religious law insist that Elijah must return before the Messiah comes?"
Jesus responded, "Elijah is indeed coming first to set everything in order. Why then is it written in the Scriptures that the Son of Man must suffer and be treated with utter contempt? 13But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and he was badly mistreated, just as the Scriptures predicted."14
At the foot of the mountain they found a great crowd surrounding the other disciples, as some teachers of religious law were arguing with them.
The crowd watched Jesus in awe as he came toward them, and then they ran to greet him.
16"What is all this arguing about?" he asked.
One of the men in the crowd spoke up and said, "Teacher, I brought my son for you to heal him. He can't speak because he is possessed by an evil spirit that won't let him talk.
And whenever this evil spirit seizes him, it throws him violently to the ground and makes him foam at the mouth and grind his teeth and become rigid. b So I asked your disciples to cast out the evil spirit, but they couldn't do it."
Jesus said to them, "You faithless people! How long must I be with you until you believe? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy to me." 20
So they brought the boy. But when the evil spirit saw Jesus, it threw the child into a violent convulsion, and he fell to the ground, writhing and foaming at the mouth.
21"How long has this been happening?" Jesus asked the boy's father. He replied, "Since he was very small.
The evil spirit often makes him fall into the fire or into water, trying to kill him. Have mercy on us and help us. Do something if you can."
23"What do you mean, 'If I can'?" Jesus asked. "Anything is possible if a person believes."24
The father instantly replied, "I do believe, but help me not to doubt!"
When Jesus saw that the crowd of onlookers was growing, he rebuked the evil spirit. "Spirit of deafness and muteness," he said, "I command you to come out of this child and never enter him again!" 26
Then the spirit screamed and threw the boy into another violent convulsion and left him. The boy lay there motionless, and he appeared to be dead. A murmur ran through the crowd, "He's dead."
But Jesus took him by the hand and helped him to his feet, and he stood up.
Afterward, when Jesus was alone in the house with his disciples, they asked him, "Why couldn't we cast out that evil spirit?"
Jesus replied, "This kind can be cast out only by prayer. c"30
Leaving that region, they traveled through Galilee. Jesus tried to avoid all publicity
in order to spend more time with his disciples and teach them. He said to them, "The Son of Man is going to be betrayed. He will be killed, but three days later he will rise from the dead." 32
But they didn't understand what he was saying, and they were afraid to ask him what he meant.
After they arrived at Capernaum, Jesus and his disciples settled in the house where they would be staying. Jesus asked them, "What were you discussing out on the road?" 34
But they didn't answer, because they had been arguing about which of them was the greatest.
He sat down and called the twelve disciples over to him. Then he said, "Anyone who wants to be the first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else."36
Then he put a little child among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them,
37"Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes my Father who sent me."38
John said to Jesus, "Teacher, we saw a man using your name to cast out demons, but we told him to stop because he isn't one of our group."
39"Don't stop him!" Jesus said. "No one who performs miracles in my name will soon be able to speak evil of me. 40Anyone who is not against us is for us. 41If anyone gives you even a cup of water because you belong to the Messiah, I assure you, that person will be rewarded."
42"But if anyone causes one of these little ones who trusts in me to lose faith, it would be better for that person to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around the neck. 43If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better to enter heaven d with only one hand than to go into the unquenchable fires of hell with two hands. e44f45If your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better to enter heaven with only one foot than to be thrown into hell with two feet. g46h47And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out. It is better to enter the Kingdom of God half blind than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, 48'where the worm never dies and the fire never goes out.' i"
49"For everyone will be purified with fire. j50Salt is good for seasoning. But if it loses its flavor, how do you make it salty again? You must have the qualities of salt among yourselves and live in peace with each other."
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)