About that time there was again an immense crowd, and they found themselves with nothing to eat. So He called His disciples to Him.
'My heart yearns over the people,' He said; 'for this is now the third day they have remained with me, and they have nothing to eat.
If I were to send them home hungry, they would faint on the way, some of them having come a great distance.'
'Where can we possibly get bread here in this remote place to satisfy such a crowd?' answered His disciples.
'How many loaves have you?' He asked. 'Seven,' they said.
So He passed the word to the people to sit down on the ground. Then taking the seven loaves He blessed them, and broke them into portions and proceeded to give them to His disciples for them to distribute, and they distributed them to the people.
They had also a few small fish. He blessed them, and He told His disciples to distribute these also.
So the people ate an abundant meal; and what remained over they picked up and carried away--seven hampers of broken pieces.
The number fed were about 4,000. Then He sent them away,
and at once going on board with His disciples He came into the district of Dalmanutha.
The Pharisees followed Him and began to dispute with Him, asking Him for a sign in the sky, to make trial of Him.
Heaving a deep and troubled sigh, He said, 'Why do the men of to-day ask for a sign? In solemn truth I tell you that no sign will be given to the men of to-day.'
So He left them, went on board again, and came away to the other side.
Now they had forgotten to take bread, nor had they more than a single loaf with them in the boat;
and when He admonished them, 'See to it, be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod,'
they explained His words to one another by saying, 'We have no bread!'
He perceived what they were saying, and He said to them, 'What is this discussion of yours about having no bread? Do you not yet see and understand? Are your minds so dull of comprehension?
You have eyes! can you not see? You have ears! can you not hear? and have you no memory?
When I broke up the five loaves for the 5,000 men, how many baskets did you carry away full of broken portions?' 'Twelve,' they said.
'And when the seven for the 4,000, how many hampers full of portions did you take away?' 'Seven,' they answered.
'Do you not yet understand?' He said.
And they came to Bethsaida. And a blind man was brought to Jesus and they entreated Him to touch him.
So He took the blind man by the arm and brought him out of the village, and spitting into his eyes He put His hands on him and asked him, 'Can you see anything?'
He looked up and said, 'I can see the people: I see them like trees--only walking.'
Then for the second time He put His hands on the man's eyes, and the man, looking steadily, recovered his sight and saw everything distinctly.
So He sent him home, and added, 'Do not even go into the village.'
From that place Jesus and His disciples went to the villages belonging to Caesarea Philippi. On the way He began to ask His disciples, 'Who do people say that I am?'
'John the Baptist,' they replied, 'but others say Elijah, and others, that it is one of the Prophets.'
Then He asked them pointedly, 'But you yourselves, who do you say that I am?' 'You are the Christ,' answered Peter.
And He strictly forbad them to tell this about Him to any one.
And now for the first time He told them, 'The Son of Man must endure much suffering, and be rejected by the Elders and the High Priests and the Scribes, and be put to death, and after two days rise to life.'
This He told them plainly; whereupon Peter took Him and began to remonstrate with Him.
But turning round and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter. 'Get behind me, Adversary,' He said, 'for your thoughts are not God's thoughts, but men's.'
Then calling to Him the crowd and also His disciples, He said to them, 'If any one is desirous of following me, let him ignore self and take up his cross, and so be my follower.
For whoever is bent on securing his life will lose it, but he who loses his life for my sake, and for the sake of the Good News, will secure it.
Why, what does it benefit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?
For what could a man give to buy back his life?
Every one, however, who has been ashamed of me and of my teachings in this faithless and sinful age, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in His Father's glory with the holy angels.'