Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?”

      They replied, “Some say “John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.”

      “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

       Peter answered, “You are the Christ.”

       Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him. 


     He then began to teach them that the Son of  Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.

      But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.

      “Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross andfollow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

Mark 8:27-38


      Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is neverat fauly in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.

      When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise the tongue is a smaill part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

     All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

     With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

James 3:1-12


      I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy.

      Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.

      The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came upon me; I was overcome by trouble and sorrow.

      Then I called on the name of the Lord:

      “O Lord, save me!”

      The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion.

      The Lord protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, he saved me.

      Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.

      For you, O Lord, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling

      that I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living.

Psalm 116:1-9


      The Sovereign Lord has given me and instruction tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary.

      He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listenlike being taught.

      The Sovereign Lord has opened my ears, and I have not been rebellious; I have not drawn back.

      I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting.

      Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced.

      Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame.

      He who vindicates me is near. Who then will bring charges against me? Let us face each other! Who is my accuser? Let him confront me!

      It is the Sovereign Lord who helps me. Who is he that will condemn me?

      They will all wear out like a garment; the moths will eat them up.

Isaiah 50:4-9


      Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it; yet he could not keep his presence secret. In fact as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was posessed by an evil spirit came and fell at his feet. The woman was a Greek , born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter.

      “First let the children eat all they want,” he told her, “for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.”

      “Yes, Lord.” she replied, “but even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”

       Then he told her, “For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter.”

      She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.

      Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through  Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis. There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged him to place his hand on the man.

      After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha (which means, “Be opened!”) At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly.

      Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so , the more they kept talking about it. People were overwhelmed with amazement. “He has done everything well.” they said. “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”

Mark 7:24-37


     My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes. and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

     Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? But you have insulted the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? Are they not the ones that are slandering the noble name of him to whom you belong?

     If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture,”Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adulterybut do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.

      Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgmentwithout mercy willl be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!

      What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way  faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

James 2:1-10, {11-13}, 14-17


      Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord, O my soul.

      I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.

      Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save.

      When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing.

      Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God,

      the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them — the Lord, who remains faithful forever.

      He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry The Lord sets prisoners free,

      the Lord gives sight to the blind the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down the Lord loves the righteous.

      The Lord watches over the alien and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.

      The Lord reigns forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations.

      Praise the Lord.

Psalm 146


      Say to those hurtful heats, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.”

     Then willl the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped.

     Then the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert.

     The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs. In the haunts where jackals once lay, grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.

Isaiah 35:4-7