Four Thousand Fed
1In those days, when there was again a large crowd [gathered before Him] and they had nothing to eat, Jesus called His disciples and told them, 2“I feel compassion for the crowd; they have been with Me now for three days and have nothing [left] to eat. 3If I send them away to their homes hungry, they will faint [from exhaustion] on the road; because some of them have come a long way.” 4His disciples replied to Him, “Where will anyone be able to find enough bread here in this isolated place to feed these people?” 5He asked them, “How many loaves [of bread] do you have?” They said, “Seven.” 6He directed the people to sit down on the ground; and taking the seven loaves, He gave thanks and broke them, and [repeatedly] gave them to His disciples to set before them, and they served the crowd. 7They also had a few small fish; and when Jesus had blessed them [and given thanks], He ordered these [fish] to be set before them as well. 8And the people ate and were satisfied; and they picked up seven large baskets full of the broken pieces that were left over. 9About four thousand [men] were there [besides women and children]; and He sent them away. 10Then immediately He got into the boat with His disciples and went to the district of Dalmanutha.
11The Pharisees came out and began to argue [contentiously and debate] with Him, demanding from Him a sign from heaven, to test Him [because of their unbelief]. 12He groaned and sighed deeply in His spirit and said, “Why does this generation demand a sign? I assure you and most solemnly say to you, no sign will be given to this generation!” 13Leaving them, He again boarded the boat and left for the other side.
14Now the disciples had forgotten to bring bread, and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. 15Jesus repeatedly ordered them, saying, “Watch out! Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” 16They began discussing this with one another, saying, “It is because we have no bread [that He said this].” 17Jesus, aware of this [discussion], said to them, “Why are you discussing [the fact] that you have no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? 18Though you have eyes, do you not see? And though you have ears, do you not hear and listen [to what I have said]? And do you not remember, 19when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces you picked up?” They answered, “Twelve.” 20“And [when I broke] the seven [loaves] for the four thousand, how many large baskets full of broken pieces did you pick up?” And they answered, “Seven.” 21And He was saying to them, “Do you still not understand?”
22Then they came to Bethsaida; and some people brought a blind man to Jesus and begged Him to touch him. 23Taking the blind man by the hand, He led him out of the village; and after spitting on his eyes and laying His hands on him, He asked him, “Do you see anything?” 24And he looked up and said, “I see people, but [they look] like trees, walking around.” 25Then again Jesus laid His hands on his eyes; and the man stared intently and [his sight] was [completely] restored, and he began to see everything clearly. 26And He sent him to his home, saying, “Do not even enter the village.”
Peter’s Confession of Christ
27Then Jesus and His disciples went out to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way He asked His disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” 28They answered Him, “John the Baptist; and others say Elijah; but others, one of the prophets.” 29And He asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter replied to Him, “You [in contrast to the others] are the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed).” 30Then Jesus strictly warned them not to tell anyone about Him.
31And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must [of necessity] suffer many things and be rejected [as the Messiah] by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and must be put to death, and after three days rise [from death to life]. 32He was stating the matter plainly [not holding anything back]. Then Peter took Him aside and began to reprimand Him. 33But turning around [with His back to Peter] and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, “Get behind Me, Satan; for your mind is not set on God’s will or His values and purposes, but on what pleases man.”
34Jesus called the crowd together with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to follow Me [as My disciple], he must deny himself [set aside selfish interests], and take up his cross [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me]. 35For whoever wishes to save his life [in this world] will [eventually] lose it [through death], but whoever loses his life [in this world] for My sake and the gospel’s will save it [from the consequences of sin and separation from God]. 36For what does it benefit a man to gain the whole world [with all its pleasures], and forfeit his soul? 37For what will a man give in exchange for his soul and eternal life [in God’s kingdom]? 38For whoever is ashamed [here and now] of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”