Jesus and his disciples went out to the lake, followed by a huge crowd from all over Galilee, Judea,
Jerusalem, Idumea, from east of the Jordan River, and even from as far away as Tyre and Sidon. The news about his miracles had spread far and wide, and vast numbers of people came to see him for themselves.
Jesus instructed his disciples to bring around a boat and to have it ready in case he was crowded off the beach.
There had been many healings that day. As a result, many sick people were crowding around him, trying to touch him.
And whenever those possessed by evil spirits caught sight of him, they would fall down in front of him shrieking, "You are the Son of God!"
But Jesus strictly warned them not to say who he was.
Afterward Jesus went up on a mountain and called the ones he wanted to go with him. And they came to him.
Then he selected twelve of them to be his regular companions, calling them apostles. a He sent them out to preach,
and he gave them authority to cast out demons.
These are the names of the twelve he chose: Simon (he renamed him Peter),
James and John (the sons of Zebedee, but Jesus nicknamed them "Sons of Thunder"b),
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)