1 The Pharisees and Sadducees came [and attempted] to test Jesus [by] asking Him to perform a [supernatural] sign from heaven.
2 But He answered them, {[{[These words are omitted in most ancient manuscripts: "When the sky is reddish in the evening, you predict fair weather [for the next day]. 3 And when the sky is reddish and overcast in the morning, you predict [that it will be] bad weather that day. You know how to interpret [weather] conditions from the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times [i.e., what will happen in the spiritual realm]"]}]}. 4 "It is an evil and spiritually unfaithful generation of people [that keeps on] looking for a [supernatural] sign; but there will be no [such] sign given to it except the sign of Jonah [i.e., being in the huge fish for three days]." Then He left them and went away.
5 Now the disciples came to the other side [i.e., to the east side of the lake], but had forgotten to bring food [with them].
6 Jesus said to them, "Pay attention and watch out for the leavening [effect] of the Pharisees and Sadducees."
7 And they began reasoning among themselves, saying, "[Why be concerned about yeast since] we did not bring [any] bread?"
8 Jesus, being aware of their thoughts, said, "O, you people with [such] little faith! Why are you reasoning among yourselves about not having bread? 9 Do you not understand yet or remember that five thousand people [were fed] with five loaves of bread and how many baskets [of pieces] were picked up [afterward]? 10 Or that four thousand people [were fed] with seven loaves of bread and how many baskets [of pieces] were picked up [afterward]? 11 How is it that you do not understand that I was not speaking to you about [physical] bread? But [rather I meant] watch out for the yeast [i.e., the influence] of the Pharisees and Sadducees." 12 Then they understood that He was not telling them to watch out for the yeast in [physical] bread, but for the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
13 Now when Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, "Who are people saying that the Son of man is?"
14 They replied, "Some say you are John the Immerser; some [the prophet] Elijah; and others [the prophet] Jeremiah, or one of the [other] prophets [come back to life]."
15 He [then] said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"
16 And Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ [i.e., God's specially chosen one], the Son of the living God."
17 Jesus replied, "Simon, son of Jonah, you are fortunate [indeed], for this [truth] was not revealed to you by human beings but [rather] by my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I also tell you, [although] you are Peter [i.e., a stone], it is on this rock [i.e., the truth you have just confessed] that I will build my church and [not even] the gates of the unseen place of departed spirits will win out over it [i.e., all efforts to stamp out the church by killing Christians will fail]. 19 [And] I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven [i.e., for opening up the way into it]. And whatever [truth] you [and the other apostles. See 18:18] require [people to believe and practice] here on earth will have already been required of them [by God] in heaven. And whatever [truth] you do not require [of people] on earth, will not be required [by God] in heaven."
20 Then He ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that He was the Christ.
21 From that time onward Jesus began to explain to His disciples that He would have to go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the [Jewish] elders, leading priests, and experts in the law of Moses; [that He would then] be killed and [yet] raised up on the third day. 22 Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, "I should say not, Lord; that will never happen to you."
23 But Jesus turned to Peter and said, "Get away from me, Satan; you are causing a hindrance to me because you are not thinking about God's things but about men's."
24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wants to be my follower, he should deny self [i.e., of always having its own way] and lift up his cross [of responsibility] and [then he can] become my follower. 25 For whoever would [try to] save his life [i.e., by neglecting spiritual things] will lose it [i.e., miss out on the blessings of God]. But whoever [is willing to] lose his life [i.e., in commitment to God's service] for my sake will find it [i.e., obtain both temporal and spiritual blessings]. 26 For what benefit is it to a person if he gains the whole world [of material things] but [has to] give up his life [i.e., all the spiritual blessings]? Or what should a person give in exchange for his life? 27 For the Son of man will return in the splendor of His Father, accompanied by His angels. Then He will reward or punish every person in proportion to what he has done [with his life]. 28 It is true when I tell you, some of those standing here will not die before they see the Son of man coming in His kingdom."