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1ABOUT this time it happened again that a large crowd collected and had nothing to eat. Jesus called the disciples over to him and said,

2"My heart goes out to this crowd; they have been with me three days now and they have no food left.

3If I send them off home without anything, they will collapse on the wayand some of them have come from a distance."

4His disciples replied, "Where could anyone find the food to feed them here in this deserted spot?"

5"How many loaves have you got?" Jesus asked them. "Seven," they replied.

6So Jesus told the crowd to settle themselves on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves into his hands, and with a prayer of thanksgiving broke them, and gave them to the disciples to distribute to the people; and this they did.

7They had a few small fish as well, and after blessing them, Jesus told his disciples to give these also to the people.

8They ate and they were satisfied. Moreover, they picked up seven baskets full of pieces left over.

9The people numbered about four thousand. Jesus sent them home,

10and then he boarded the boat at once with his disciples and went on to the district of Dalmanutha.

11Now the Pharisees came out and began an argument with him. They were out to test him and wanted a sign from Heaven.

12Jesus gave a deep sigh, and then said, "What makes this generation want a sign? I can tell you this, they will certainly not be given one!"

13Then he left them and got aboard the boat again, and crossed the lake.

14The disciples had forgotten to take any food and had only one loaf with them in the boat.

15Jesus spoke seriously to them, "Keep your eyes open! Be on your guard against the 'yeast' of the Pharisees and the 'yeast' of Herod!"

16And this sent them into an earnest consultation among themselves because they had brought no bread.

17Jesus knew it and said to them, "Why all this discussion about bringing no bread? Don't you understand or grasp what I say even yet? Are your minds closed?

18Are you like the people who 'having eyes, do not see, and having ears, do not hear'?Have you forgotten

19when I broke five loaves for five thousand people, how many baskets full of pieces did you pick up?" "Twelve," they replied.

20"And when there were seven loaves for four thousand people, how many baskets of pieces did you pick up?" "Seven," they said.

21"And does that still mean nothing to you?" he said.

22So they arrived at Bethsaida where a blind man was brought to him, with the earnest request that he should touch him.

23Jesus took the blind man's hand and led him outside the village. Then he moistened his eyes with saliva and putting his hands on him, asked, "Can you see at all?"

24The man looked up and said, "I can see people. They look like treesonly they are walking about."

25Then Jesus put his hands on his eyes once more and his sight came into focus, and he recovered and saw everything sharp and clear.

26And Jesus sent him off to his own house with the words, "Don't even go into the village."

27Jesus then went away with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, "Who are men saying that I am?"

28"John the Baptist," they answered. "But others say that you are Elijah or, some say, one of the prophets."

29Then he asked them, "But what about youwho do you say that I am?" "You are Christ!" answered Peter.

30Then Jesus impressed it upon them that they must not mention this to anyone.

31And he began to teach them that it was inevitable that the Son of Man should go through much suffering and he utterly repudiated by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

32He told them all this quite bluntly. This made Peter draw him on one side and take him to task about what he had said.

33But Jesus turned and faced his disciples and rebuked Peter. "Out of my way, Satan!" he said. "Peter, your thoughts are not God's thoughts, but man's!"

34Then he called his disciples and the people around him, and said to them, "If anyone wants to follow in my footsteps, he must give up all right to himself, take up his cross and follow me.

35The man who tries to save his life will lose it; it is the man who loses his life for my sake and the gospel's who will save it.

36What good can it do a man to gain the whole world at the price of his own soul?

37What can a man offer to buy back his soul once he has lost it?

38If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this unfaithful and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in the Father's glory with the holy angels around him."


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