1 – 3
Jesus called the 12 apostles together. He gave them power to heal sicknesses and power over all demons. Jesus sent the apostles out to tell about God’s kingdom and to heal the sick. He said to them, “When you travel, do not take a walking stick. Also, do not carry a bag, or food, or money. Take for your trip only the clothes you are wearing.
Sometimes God asks us to do a spiritual checkup. What do we really need to take with us? What would you take with you if Jesus sent you to do a job for Him? Would you be full of Scripture? Would you rather have money and things to make you comfortable or have Spiritual power?
4 – 6
When you go into a house, stay there until it is time to leave. If the people in the town will not welcome you, go outside the town and shake the dust off of your feet. This will be a warning to them.” So the apostles went out. They traveled through all the towns. They told the Gospel and healed people everywhere.
Why would God send you to do a job for Him and then not make sure you have everything you need? Jesus is getting His followers ready to go all over the world by teaching them to trust God for their food and other things they need.
Do not waste your time thinking that you need money or something else before you can work for God. Just go and watch what He does!
7 – 8
Herod, the governor, heard about all these things that were happening. He was confused because some people said, “John the Baptist is risen from death.” Others said, “Elijah has come to us.” And still others said, “One of the prophets from long ago has risen from death.”
People today say that Jesus was a good teacher. Men need to decide if Jesus is the Son of God or just a good man. Everything that Jesus did was promised in the Old Testament and there is no one else who can be proven to be the Messiah.
How many men in history have been killed in the exact way that the Old Testament said the Messiah would be killed? How many were given to the Jewish leaders for thirty pieces of silver? For how many were the thirty pieces of silver used to buy a field? There are many other Scriptures that showed what would happen to the Messiah and nobody in history can come close to these things.
9. Herod said, “I cut off John’s head. So who is this man I hear these things about?” And Herod kept trying to see Jesus.
Herod was confused because he was a part of the Jewish group which did not believe that anyone could rise from the dead. Pray that people who need Jesus will see that something is wrong with the lies they have been believing.
10 – 11
When the apostles returned, they told Jesus all the things they had done on their trip. Then Jesus took them away to a town called Bethsaida. There, Jesus and his apostles could be alone together. But the people learned where Jesus went and followed him. Jesus welcomed them and talked with them about God’s kingdom. He healed those who needed to be healed.
Jesus wanted to be alone with His followers but the people changed His schedule. We need to allow God to change our schedule so that we are available when people need us!
12 – 14
Late in the afternoon, the 12 apostles came to Jesus and said, “No one lives in this place. Send the people away. They need to find food and places to sleep in the towns and countryside around here.” But Jesus said to them, “You give them something to eat.”
They said, “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish. Do you want us to go buy food for all these people?” There were about 5,000 men there. Jesus said to his followers, “Tell the people to sit in groups of about 50 people.”
John tells us that this food came from a boy who was there. Maybe the boy was planning to sell this food, but he gave it away.
15 – 17
So the followers did this, and all the people sat down. Then Jesus took the five loaves of bread and two fish. He looked up to heaven and thanked God for the food. Then Jesus divided the food and gave it to the followers to give to the people. All the people ate and were satisfied. And there was much food left. Twelve baskets were filled with pieces of food that were not eaten.
Maybe they gave the leftovers to the little boy who was hoping to sell his fish? The twelve baskets left over were also a lesson to the twelve disciples that God can give us what we need. John 6:8
18 – 20
One time when Jesus was praying alone, his followers came together there. Jesus asked them, “Who do the people say I am?”
They answered, “Some say you are John the Baptist. Others say you are Elijah. And others say you are one of the prophets from long ago who has come back to life.”
Then Jesus asked, “And who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Christ from God.”
After all the years that Jesus was with them He never said that He was the Messiah. He wanted His life to show it without saying it. His followers should now be able to see it for themselves.
21 – 22
Jesus warned them not to tell anyone. Then he said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things. He will be rejected by the Jewish elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of the law. The Son of Man will be killed. But after three days he will be raised from death.”
Jesus told them not to tell anyone because they did not completely understand. God does not want us to give a confused message. If the people were told that Jesus was going to die then they would lose hope that He was the Messiah. It is better to be quiet when you are not sure what you are talking about!
23. Jesus went on to say to all of them, “If anyone wants to follow me, he must say ‘no’ to the things he wants. Every day he must be willing even to die on a cross, and he must follow me.
Why should we give up the things we want? How else can we show that we are living for Him and not for ourselves? The world says that we should push ourselves to get what we want. The secret of life with God is that if we put His things first He will give us what we need without having to fight for it. Matthew 6:33
24 – 25
Whoever wants to save his life will lose it. And whoever gives his life for me will save it. It is worth nothing for a man to have the whole world, if he himself is destroyed or lost.
What kind of a deal is Satan offering you for your soul? What if you could have anything you wanted but you lost your soul? There is a man who has been going around saying he will give $100,000 if you will give him your wife. Even if the victim only stops to think about it, and tries to find some way to do this, he has lost his marriage.
26 – 27
If anyone is ashamed of me and my teaching, then I will be ashamed of him. I will be ashamed of him at the time I come with my glory and with the glory of the Father and the holy angels. I tell you the truth. Some of you people standing here will see the kingdom of God before you die.”
If we are not willing to pay some kind of price for following Jesus then we are not really following Him. Would it be fine with you if you could say that you are following Jesus but you never give up anything?
28 – 31
About eight days after Jesus said these things, he took Peter, James, and John and went up on a mountain to pray. While Jesus was praying, his face was changed, and his clothes became shining white. Then two men were talking with Jesus. The men were Moses and Elijah. They appeared in heavenly glory, talking with Jesus about his death which would happen in Jerusalem.
This shows that the Law and the Prophets are witnesses to the things that Jesus was showing to His followers. The Lord let them see what it will be like when He returns. Sometimes God lets us see His power to make us strong for hard times that are coming. He also shows us our weakness so that we will not become proud of what He has shown us. 2 Corinthians 12:7 Corinthians 12:7
32 – 33
Peter and the others were asleep. But they woke up and saw the glory of Jesus. They also saw the two men who were standing with him. When Moses and Elijah were about to leave, Peter said, “Master, it is good that we are here. We will put three tents here—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” Peter did not know what he was saying.
We sometimes say things and we do not even know why we are saying them. We need to have mercy on each other when things are said during a time of confusion.
34 – 36
While Peter was saying these things, a cloud came down all around them. Peter, James, and John became afraid when the cloud covered them. A voice came from the cloud. The voice said, “This is my Son. He is the One I have chosen. Obey him.” When the voice finished speaking, only Jesus was there. Peter, James, and John said nothing. At that time they told no one about what they had seen.
The followers of Jesus would remember that God said these same things when Jesus was baptized. God repeats truth to us to get our attention.
37 – 40
The next day, Jesus, Peter, James, and John came down from the mountain. A large crowd met Jesus. A man in the crowd shouted to Jesus, “Teacher, please come and look at my son. He is the only child I have. An evil spirit comes into my son, and then he shouts. He loses control of himself, and he foams at the mouth. The evil spirit keeps on hurting him and when it leaves it hurts him. I begged your followers to make the evil spirit leave my son, but they could not do it.”
This is a spirit of suicide. The devil told this boy that his life was so bad that it would be better to be dead than to live like this. We see that demons can pretend to leave and come back.
41 – 43
Jesus answered, “You people who live now have no faith. Your lives are all wrong. How long must I be with you and be patient with you?” Then Jesus said to the man, “Bring your son here.”
While the boy was coming, the demon threw him on the ground. The boy lost control of himself. But Jesus gave a strong command to the evil spirit. Then the boy was healed, and Jesus gave him back to his father. All the people were amazed at the great power of God.
The people were all wondering about the things Jesus did. But he said to his followers,
When we ask God to send a demon out of someone, the demon will make one last attack to try to put fear into us. See Mark Chapter 9 to learn how the father was part of the problem.
44 – 45
“Do not forget the things I tell you now: The Son of Man will be handed over into the control of men.” But the followers did not understand what Jesus meant. The meaning was hidden from them so that they could not understand it. But they were afraid to ask Jesus about what he said.
God may show you some things that He has not shown to some others. This does not mean that you should tell anyone about this. Be careful not to become proud of what God has shown you!
What makes you different than anyone else? What do you have that God has not given you? If everything you have is from God, why are you proud about it as if it was not a gift? 1 Corinthians 4:7
46 – 48
Jesus’ followers began to have an argument about which one of them was the greatest. Jesus knew what they were thinking. So he took a little child and stood the child beside him. Then Jesus said, “If anyone accepts a little child like this in my name, then he accepts me. And when he accepts me, he accepts the One who sent me. He who is least among you all—he is the greatest.”
There are people who see themselves as big leaders in the church. Let them do something to help people in some small things and then we will believe that they are leaders.
Children will believe whatever we tell them. We need to be careful how we treat children. We need to believe whatever God tells us, and be quiet and trusting as little children.
I have calmed and quieted myself, like a little child who no longer cries for its mother’s milk. Yes, like a small child is my soul inside me. Psalm 131:2
49 – 50
John answered, “Master, we saw someone using your name to force demons out of people. We told him to stop because he does not belong to our group.” Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him. If a person is not against you, then he is for you.”
There are churches that do not believe exactly the way that we believe. If they believe that Jesus is the Son of God, who died and rose again for us, then they are our brothers.
51 – 53
The time was coming near when Jesus would leave and be taken to heaven. He was determined to go to Jerusalem and sent some men ahead of him. The men went into a town in Samaria to make everything ready for Jesus. But the people there would not welcome him because he was going toward Jerusalem.
The Samaritans were hated by the Jews so they decided they would get revenge by not accepting Jesus if He was going to visit the Jews. This would hurt their own lives more than it would hurt the Jews.
54 – 56
James and John, the followers of Jesus, saw this. They said, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven and destroy those people?”
But Jesus turned and scolded them. And Jesus said, “You do not know what kind of spirit you belong to. The Son of Man did not come to destroy the souls of men but to save them.” Then He and his followers went to another town.
Do you see what kind of person you are? Would you secretly like to see God do something to your enemies? We do not talk this way and we try to think the best of everyone as hope they give us another chance also when we make a mistake!
57 – 58
They were all going along the road. Someone said to Jesus, “I will follow you any place you go.” Jesus answered, “The foxes have holes to live in. The birds have nests to live in. But the Son of Man has no place to rest his head.”
Jesus is showing that we need to think about all the things that will change as we follow Him completely.
59 – 60
Jesus said to another man, “Follow me!” But the man said, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” But Jesus said to him, “Let the people who are dead bury their own dead! You must go and tell about the kingdom of God.”
The Jews buried people very soon after they died so if this man’s father had just died he would not be standing and talking to Jesus. What this means in the Jewish culture is that the man is saying, “I will follow Jesus after my parents pass away.”
61 – 62
Another man said, “I will follow you, Lord, but first let me go and say good-bye to my family.” Jesus said, “Anyone who begins to plow a field but keeps looking back is of no use in the kingdom of God.”
You cannot go forward while you are looking backward. If you do this you will plow a crooked row!