1 Some Pharisees and teachers of religious law now arrived from Jerusalem to see Jesus. They asked him,
2 "Why do your disciples disobey our age-old tradition? For they ignore our tradition of ceremonial hand washing before they eat."
3 Jesus replied, "And why do you, by your traditions, violate the direct commandments of God?
4 For instance, God says, 'Honor your father and mother,' and 'Anyone who speaks disrespectfully of father or mother must be put to death.'
5 But you say it is all right for people to say to their parents, 'Sorry, I can't help you. For I have vowed to give to God what I would have given to you.'
6 In this way, you say they don't need to honor their parents. And so you cancel the word of God for the sake of your own tradition.
7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote,
8 'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
9 Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.'"
10 Then Jesus called to the crowd to come and hear. "Listen," he said, "and try to understand.
11 It's not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth."
12 Then the disciples came to him and asked, "Do you realize you offended the Pharisees by what you just said?"
13 Jesus replied, "Every plant not planted by my heavenly Father will be uprooted,
14 so 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 said to Jesus, "Explain to us the parable that says people aren't defiled by what they eat."
16 "Don't you understand yet?" Jesus asked.
17 "Anything you eat passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer.
18 But the words you speak come from the heart - that's what defiles you.
19 For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander.
20 These are what defile you. Eating with unwashed hands will never defile you."
21 Then Jesus left Galilee and went north to the region of Tyre and Sidon.
22 A Gentile woman who lived there came to him, pleading, "Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! For my daughter is possessed by a demon that torments her severely."
23 But Jesus gave her no reply, not even a word. Then his disciples urged him to send her away. "Tell her to go away," they said. "She is bothering us with all her begging."
24 Then Jesus said to the woman, "I was sent only to help God's lost sheep - the people of Israel."
25 But she came and worshiped him, pleading again, "Lord, help me!"
26 Jesus responded, "It isn't right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs."
27 She replied, "That's true, Lord, but even dogs are allowed to eat the scraps that fall beneath their masters' table."
28 "Dear woman," Jesus said to her, "your faith is great. Your request is granted." And her daughter was instantly healed.
29 Jesus returned to the Sea of Galilee and climbed a hill and sat down.
30 A vast crowd brought to him people who were lame, blind, crippled, those who couldn't speak, and many others. They laid them before Jesus, and he healed them all.
31 The crowd was amazed! Those who hadn't been able to speak were talking, the crippled were made well, the lame were walking, and the blind could see again! And they praised the God of Israel.
32 Then 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. I don't want to send them away hungry, or they will faint along the way."
33 The disciples replied, "Where would we get enough food here in the wilderness for such a huge crowd?"
34 Jesus asked, "How much bread do you have?" They replied, "Seven loaves, and a few small fish."
35 So Jesus told all the people to sit down on the ground.
36 Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, thanked God for them, and broke them into pieces. He gave them to the disciples, who distributed the food to the crowd.
37 They all ate as much as they wanted. Afterward, the disciples picked up seven large baskets of leftover food.
38 There were 4,000 men who were fed that day, in addition to all the women and children.
39 Then Jesus sent the people home, and he got into a boat and crossed over to the region of Magadan.
1 One day the Pharisees and Sadducees came to test Jesus, demanding that he show them a miraculous sign from heaven to prove his authority.
2 He replied, "You know the saying, 'Red sky at night means fair weather tomorrow;
3 red sky in the morning means foul weather all day.' You know how to interpret the weather signs in the sky, but you don't know how to interpret the signs of the times!
4 Only an evil, adulterous generation would demand 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.
5 Later, after they crossed to the other side of the lake, the disciples discovered they had forgotten to bring any bread.
6 "Watch out!" Jesus warned them. "Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees."
7 At this they began to argue with each other because they hadn't brought any bread.
8 Jesus knew what they were saying, so he said, "You have so little faith! Why are you arguing with each other about having no bread?
9 Don't you understand even yet? Don't you remember the 5,000 I fed with five loaves, and the baskets of leftovers you picked up?
10 Or the 4,000 I fed with seven loaves, and the large baskets of leftovers you picked up?
11 Why can't you understand that I'm not talking about bread? 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 the yeast in bread, but about the deceptive teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
13 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."
15 Then he asked them, "But who do you say I am?"
16 Simon Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God."
17 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.
18 Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means 'rock'), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.
19 And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven."
20 Then he sternly warned the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.
21 From then on Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead.
22 But Peter took him aside and began to reprimand him for saying such things. "Heaven forbid, Lord," he said. "This will never happen to you!"
23 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, not from God's."
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.
25 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.
26 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?
27 For the Son of Man will come with his angels in the glory of his Father and will judge all people according to their deeds.
28 And I tell you the truth, some standing here right now will not die before they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom."
1 Six days later Jesus took Peter and the two brothers, James and John, and led them up a high mountain to be alone.
2 As the men watched, Jesus' appearance was transformed so that his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light.
3 Suddenly, Moses and Elijah appeared and began talking with Jesus.
4 Peter exclaimed, "Lord, it's wonderful for us to be here! If you want, I'll make three shelters as memorials - one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah."
5 But even as he spoke, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy. Listen to him."
6 The disciples were terrified and fell face down on the ground.
7 Then Jesus came over and touched them. "Get up," he said. "Don't be afraid."
8 And when they looked up, Moses and Elijah were gone, and they saw only Jesus.
9 As they went back down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, "Don't tell anyone what you have seen until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead."
10 Then his disciples asked him, "Why do the teachers of religious law insist that Elijah must return before the Messiah comes?"
11 Jesus replied, "Elijah is indeed coming first to get everything ready.
12 But I tell you, Elijah has already come, but he wasn't recognized, and they chose to abuse him. And in the same way they will also make the Son of Man suffer."
13 Then the disciples realized he was talking about John the Baptist.
14 At the foot of the mountain, a large crowd was waiting for them. A man came and knelt before Jesus and said,
15 "Lord, have mercy on my son. He has seizures and suffers terribly. He often falls into the fire or into the water.
16 So I brought him to your disciples, but they couldn't heal him."
17 Jesus said, "You faithless and corrupt people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me."
18 Then Jesus rebuked the demon in the boy, and it left him. From that moment the boy was well.
19 Afterward the disciples asked Jesus privately, "Why couldn't we cast out that demon?"
20 "You don't have enough faith," Jesus told them. "I tell you the truth, if you had faith even 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."
22 After they gathered again in Galilee, Jesus told them, "The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of his enemies.
23 He will be killed, but on the third day he will be raised from the dead." And the disciples were filled with grief.
24 On their arrival in Capernaum, the collectors of the Temple tax came to Peter and asked him, "Doesn't your teacher pay the Temple tax?"
25 "Yes, he does," Peter replied. Then he went into the house. But before he had a chance to speak, Jesus asked him, "What do you think, Peter? Do kings tax their own people or the people they have conquered?"
26 "They tax the people they have conquered," Peter replied. "Well, then," Jesus said, "the citizens are free!
27 However, we don't want to offend them, so go down to the lake and throw in a line. Open the mouth of the first fish you catch, and you will find a large silver coin. Take it and pay the tax for both of us."