As soon as Jesus heard the news, he went off by himself in a boat to a remote area to be alone. But the crowds heard where he was headed and followed by land from many villages.
A vast crowd was there as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
That evening the disciples came to him and said, "This is a desolate place, and it is getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves."
But Jesus replied, "That isn't necessary -- you feed them."17
"Impossible!" they exclaimed. "We have only five loaves of bread and two fish!"
18"Bring them here," he said.
Then he told the people to sit down on the grass. And he took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and asked God's blessing on the food. Breaking the loaves into pieces, he gave some of the bread and fish to each disciple, and the disciples gave them to the people.
They all ate as much as they wanted, and they picked up twelve baskets of leftovers.
About five thousand men had eaten from those five loaves, in addition to all the women and children!
Immediately after this, Jesus made his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake while he sent the people home.
Afterward he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone.
Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves.
About three o'clock in the morning Jesus came to them, walking on the water.
When the disciples saw him, they screamed in terror, thinking he was a ghost.
But Jesus spoke to them at once. "It's all right," he said. "I am here! Don't be afraid."28
Then Peter called to him, "Lord, if it's really you, tell me to come to you by walking on water."
29"All right, come," Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus.
But when he looked around at the high waves, he was terrified and began to sink. "Save me, Lord!" he shouted.
Instantly Jesus reached out his hand and grabbed him. "You don't have much faith," Jesus said. "Why did you doubt me?" 32
And when they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped.
Then the disciples worshiped him. "You really are the Son of God!" they exclaimed.
After they had crossed the lake, they landed at Gennesaret.
The news of their arrival spread quickly throughout the whole surrounding area, and soon people were bringing all their sick to be healed.
The sick begged him to let them touch even the fringe of his robe, and all who touched it were healed.
Some Pharisees and teachers of religious law now arrived from Jerusalem to interview Jesus.
"Why do your disciples disobey our age-old traditions?" they demanded. "They ignore our tradition of ceremonial hand washing before they eat."
Jesus replied, "And why do you, by your traditions, violate the direct commandments of God? 4For instance, God says, 'Honor your father and mother,' and 'Anyone who speaks evil of father or mother must be put to death.' 5But you say, 'You don't need to honor your parents by caring for their needs if you give the money to God instead.' 6And so, by your own tradition, you nullify the direct commandment of God. 7You hypocrites! Isaiah was prophesying about you when he said,8'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far away. 9Their worship is a farce, for they replace God's commands with their own man-made teachings.'"10
Then Jesus called to the crowds and said, "Listen to what I say and try to understand. 11You are not defiled by what you eat; you are defiled by what you say and do."12
Then the disciples came to him and asked, "Do you realize you offended the Pharisees by what you just said?"
Jesus replied, "Every plant not planted by my heavenly Father will be rooted up, 14so ignore them. They are blind guides leading the blind, and if one blind person guides another, they will both fall into a ditch."15
Then Peter asked Jesus, "Explain what you meant when you said people aren't defiled by what they eat."
16"Don't you understand?" Jesus asked him.
17"Anything you eat passes through the stomach and then goes out of the body. 18But evil words come from an evil heart and defile the person who says them. 19For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all other sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. 20These are what defile you. Eating with unwashed hands could never defile you and make you unacceptable to God!"21
Jesus then left Galilee and went north to the region of Tyre and Sidon.
A Gentile woman who lived there came to him, pleading, "Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! For my daughter has a demon in her, and it is severely tormenting her."
But Jesus gave her no reply -- not even a word. Then his disciples urged him to send her away. "Tell her to leave," they said. "She is bothering us with all her begging."
Then he said to the woman, "I was sent only to help the people of Israel -- God's lost sheep -- not the Gentiles."25
But she came and worshiped him and pleaded again, "Lord, help me!"
26"It isn't right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs," he said.
"Yes, Lord," she replied, "but even dogs are permitted to eat crumbs that fall beneath their master's table."
28"Woman," Jesus said to her, "your faith is great. Your request is granted." And her daughter was instantly healed.
Jesus returned to the Sea of Galilee and climbed a hill and sat down.
A vast crowd brought him the lame, blind, crippled, mute, and many others with physical difficulties, and they laid them before Jesus. And he healed them all.
The crowd was amazed! Those who hadn't been able to speak were talking, the crippled were made well, the lame were walking around, and those who had been blind could see again! And they praised the God of Israel.
Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, "I feel sorry for these people. They have been here with me for three days, and they have nothing left to eat. I don't want to send them away hungry, or they will faint along the road."33
The disciples replied, "And where would we get enough food out here in the wilderness for all of them to eat?"
Jesus asked, "How many loaves of bread do you have?" They replied, "Seven, and a few small fish."
So Jesus told all the people to sit down on the ground.
Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, thanked God for them, broke them into pieces, and gave them to the disciples, who distributed the food to the crowd.
They all ate until they were full, and when the scraps were picked up, there were seven large baskets of food left over!
There were four thousand men who were fed that day, in addition to all the women and children.
Then Jesus sent the people home, and he got into a boat and crossed over to the region of Magadan.
One day the Pharisees and Sadducees came to test Jesus' claims by asking him to show them a miraculous sign from heaven.
He replied, "You know the saying, 'Red sky at night means fair weather tomorrow, 3red sky in the morning means foul weather all day.' You are good at reading the weather signs in the sky, but you can't read the obvious signs of the times! 4Only an evil, faithless generation would ask for a miraculous sign, but the only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah." Then Jesus left them and went away.
Later, after they crossed to the other side of the lake, the disciples discovered they had forgotten to bring any food.
6"Watch out!" Jesus warned them. "Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees."7
They decided he was saying this because they hadn't brought any bread.
Jesus knew what they were thinking, so he said, "You have so little faith! Why are you worried about having no food? 9Won't you ever understand? Don't you remember the five thousand I fed with five loaves, and the baskets of food that were left over? 10Don't you remember the four thousand I fed with seven loaves, with baskets of food left over? 11How could you even think I was talking about food? So again I say, 'Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.'"12
Then at last they understood that he wasn't speaking about yeast or bread but about the false teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?"14
"Well," they replied, "some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets."
Then he asked them, "Who do you say I am?"16
Simon Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God."
Jesus replied, "You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. 18Now I say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. 19And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you lock on earth will be locked in heaven, and whatever you open on earth will be opened in heaven." 20
Then he sternly warned them not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.
From then on Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that he had to go to Jerusalem, and he told them what would happen to him there. He would suffer at the hands of the leaders and the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, and he would be raised on the third day.
But Peter took him aside and corrected him. "Heaven forbid, Lord," he said. "This will never happen to you!"
Jesus turned to Peter and said, "Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, and not from God's."24
Then Jesus said to the disciples, "If any of you wants to be my follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross, and follow me. 25If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for me, you will find true life. 26And 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? 27For I, the Son of Man, will come in the glory of my Father with his angels and will judge all people according to their deeds. 28And I assure you that some of you standing here right now will not die before you see me, the Son of Man, coming in my Kingdom."
Six days later Jesus took Peter and the two brothers, James and John, and led them up a high mountain.
As the men watched, Jesus' appearance changed so that his face shone like the sun, and his clothing became dazzling white.
Suddenly, Moses and Elijah appeared and began talking with Jesus.
Peter blurted out, "Lord, this is wonderful! If you want me to, I'll make three shrines, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah."
But even as he said it, a bright cloud came over them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my beloved Son, and I am fully pleased with him. Listen to him."
The disciples were terrified and fell face down on the ground.
Jesus came over and touched them. "Get up," he said, "don't be afraid." 8
And when they looked, they saw only Jesus with them.
As they descended the mountain, Jesus commanded them, "Don't tell anyone what you have seen until I, the Son of Man, have been raised from the dead."10
His disciples asked, "Why do the teachers of religious law insist that Elijah must return before the Messiah comes?"
Jesus replied, "Elijah is indeed coming first to set everything in order. 12But I tell you, he has already come, but he wasn't recognized, and he was badly mistreated. And soon the Son of Man will also suffer at their hands." 13
Then the disciples realized he had been speaking of John the Baptist.
When they arrived at the foot of the mountain, a huge crowd was waiting for them. A man came and knelt before Jesus and said,
"Lord, have mercy on my son, because he has seizures and suffers terribly. He often falls into the fire or into the water.
So I brought him to your disciples, but they couldn't heal him."
Jesus replied, "You stubborn, 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." 18
Then Jesus rebuked the demon in the boy, and it left him. From that moment the boy was well.
Afterward the disciples asked Jesus privately, "Why couldn't we cast out that demon?"
20"You didn't have enough faith," Jesus told them. "I assure you, even if you had faith as small as a mustard seed you could say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it would move. Nothing would be impossible."
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)