When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus all that they had done. He took them along and withdrew privately to a town called Bethsaida.
When the crowds found out, they followed Him. He welcomed them, spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and cured those who needed healing.
Late in the day, the Twelve approached and said to Him, "Send the crowd away, so they can go into the surrounding villages and countryside to find food and lodging, because we are in a deserted place here."
"You give them something to eat," He told them. "We have no more than five loaves and two fish," they said, "unless we go and buy food for all these people."
(For about 5,000 men were there.) Then He told His disciples, "Have them sit down in groups of about 50 each."
They did so, and had them all sit down.
Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke them. He kept giving them to the disciples to set before the crowd.
Everyone ate and was filled. Then they picked up 12 baskets of leftover pieces.
While He was praying in private and His disciples were with Him, He asked them, "Who do the crowds say that I am?"
They answered, "John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, that one of the ancient prophets has come back."
"But you," He asked them, "who do you say that I am?" Peter answered, "God's Messiah!"
But He strictly warned and instructed them to tell this to no one,
saying, "The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, be killed, and be raised the third day."
Then He said to [them] all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it.
What is a man benefited if he gains the whole world, yet loses or forfeits himself?
For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory and that of the Father and the holy angels.
I tell you the truth: there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God."
About eight days after these words, He took along Peter, John, and James, and went up on the mountain to pray.
As He was praying, the appearance of His face changed, and His clothes became dazzling white.
Suddenly, two men were talking with Him-Moses and Elijah.
They appeared in glory and were speaking of His death, which He was about to accomplish in Jerusalem.
Peter and those with him were in a deep sleep, and when they became fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men who were standing with Him.
As the two men were departing from Him, Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it's good for us to be here! Let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah"-not knowing what he said.
While he was saying this, a cloud appeared and overshadowed them. They became afraid as they entered the cloud.
Then a voice came from the cloud, saying: This is My Son, the Chosen One; listen to Him!
After the voice had spoken, only Jesus was found. They kept silent, and in those days told no one what they had seen.
The next day, when they came down from the mountain, a large crowd met Him.
Just then a man from the crowd cried out, "Teacher, I beg You to look at my son, because he's my only [child].
Often a spirit seizes him; suddenly he shrieks, and it throws him into convulsions until he foams at the mouth; wounding him, it hardly ever leaves him.
I begged Your disciples to drive it out, but they couldn't."
Jesus replied, "You unbelieving and rebellious generation! How long will I be with you and put up with you? Bring your son here."
As the boy was still approaching, the demon knocked him down and threw him into severe convulsions. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, cured the boy, and gave him back to his father.
And they were all astonished at the greatness of God. While everyone was amazed at all the things He was doing, He told His disciples,
"Let these words sink in: the Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men."
But they did not understand this statement; it was concealed from them so that they could not grasp it, and they were afraid to ask Him about it.
Then an argument started among them about who would be the greatest of them.
But Jesus, knowing the thoughts of their hearts, took a little child and had him stand next to Him.
He told them, "Whoever welcomes this little child in My name welcomes Me. And whoever welcomes Me welcomes Him who sent Me. For whoever is least among you-this one is great."
John responded, "Master, we saw someone driving out demons in Your name, and we tried to stop him because he does not follow us."
"Don't stop him," Jesus told him, "because whoever is not against you is for you."