"You must forget about yourself."

As Jesus and his disciples were going into Bethsaida, some people brought a blind man to him and begged him to touch the man.  Jesus took him by the hand and led him out of the village, where he spit into the man's eyes.  He placed his hands on the blind man and asked him if he could see anything.  The man looked up and said, "I see people, but they look like trees walking around."

Once again Jesus placed his hands on the man's eyes, and this time the man stared.  His eyes were healed, and he saw everything clearly.  Jesus said to him, "You may return home now, but don't go into the village."

Jesus and his disciples went to the villages near the town of Caesarea Philippi.  As they were walking along, he asked them, "What do people say about me?"

The disciples answered, "Some say you are John the Baptist or maybe Elijah.  Others say you are one of the prophets."

Then Jesus asked them, "But who do you say I am?"

"You are the Messiah!"  Peter replied.

Jesus warned the disciples not to tell anyone about him.

Jesus began telling his disciples what would happen to him.  He said, "The nation's leaders, the chief priests, and the teachers of the Law of Moses will make the Son of Man suffer terribly.  He will be rejected and killed, but three days later he will rise to life."  Then Jesus explained clearly what he meant.

Peter took Jesus aside and told him to stop talking like that.  But when Jesus turned and saw the disciples, he corrected Peter.  He said to him, "Satan, get away from me!  You are thinking like everyone else and not like God."

Jesus then told the crowd and the disciples to come closer, and he said:  If any of you want to be my followers, you must forget about yourself.  You must take up your cross and follow me.  If you want to save your life, you will destroy it.  But if you give up your life for me and for the good news, you will save it.  What will you gain, if you own the whole world but destroy yourself?  What could you give to get back your soul?

                                                                                         Mark 8:22-37

Contemporary English Version The Holy Bible (New York , NY: American Bible Society 1995)