SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:
9:1 After Jesus called the twelve together, he gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. 3 He said to them, “Take nothing for your journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, and do not take an extra tunic. 4 Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave the area. 5 Wherever they do not receive you, as you leave that town, shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” 6 Then they departed and went throughout the villages, proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere.
7 Now Herod the tetrarch heard about everything that was happening, and he was thoroughly perplexed because some people were saying that John had been raised from the dead, 8 while others were saying that Elijah had appeared, and still others that one of the prophets of long ago had risen. 9 Herod said, “I had John beheaded, but who is this about whom I hear such things?” So Herod wanted to learn about Jesus.
10 When the apostles returned, they told Jesus everything they had done. Then he took them with him and they withdrew privately to a town called Bethsaida. 11 But 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. 12 Now the day began to draw to a close, so the twelve came and said to Jesus, “Send the crowd away, so they can go into the surrounding villages and countryside and find lodging and food because we are in an isolated place.” 13 But he said to them, “You give them something to eat.” They replied, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish—unless we go and buy food for all these people.” 14 (Now about 5,000 men were there.) Then he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” 15 So they did as Jesus directed, and the people all sat down.
16 Then he took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven he gave thanks and broke them. He gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. 17 They all ate and were satisfied, and what was left over was picked up—twelve baskets of broken pieces.
18 Once when Jesus was praying by himself and his disciples were nearby, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” 19 They answered, “John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others that one of the prophets of long ago has risen.” 20 Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “The Christ of God.” 21 But he forcefully commanded them not to tell this to anyone, 22 saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and experts in the law, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”
23 Then he said to them all, “If anyone wants to become my follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me will save it. 25 For what does it benefit a person if he gains the whole world but loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.