1 Jesus left and went home to Nazareth with his disciples. 2 On Sabbath he began teaching in the synagogue, and many of those who were listening were surprised.
“Where does he get these ideas?” they asked. “What's this wisdom he's been given? Where does he get the power to do miracles? 3
Isn't this the carpenter, Mary's son—the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Don't his sisters live here among us?” They were offended and rejected him.*
4 “A prophet is treated with respect except in his home town, among his relatives, and within his own family,” Jesus told them. 5 The result was that Jesus could not do any miracles there, except to heal a few sick people. 6 He was amazed at their lack of trust.
Jesus traveled around the villages, teaching as he went. 7 He called together the twelve disciples, and began sending them out two by two, giving them authority over evil spirits. 8 He told them not to take anything with them except a walking stick—no bread, no bag, and no money in their belts. 9 They could wear sandals, but they were not to take an extra shirt.
“When you're invited into a home, stay there until you leave,” he told them. 11
“If you're not welcomed and not listened to, then shake the dust from your feet as you leave as a sign you have given up on them.†
So they went around telling people to repent. 13
They drove out many demons, and healed many who were sick by anointing them with oil.
14 King Herod got to hear about Jesus since he had become well-known. Some said, “This is John the Baptist risen from the dead. That's why he has such miraculous powers.” 15 Others said, “It's Elijah.” Still others said, “He's a prophet, like one of the prophets of the past.”
16 But when Herod heard about it, he said, “It's John, the one I beheaded! He's come back from the dead!” 17 For Herod had given orders to arrest and imprison John because of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, whom Herod had married. 18 John had been saying to Herod, “It's against the law to marry your brother's wife.” 19 So Herodias had a grudge against John and wanted him killed. But she wasn't able to arrange it 20 because Herod knew John was a holy man who did what was right. Herod protected John and though what John said was very disturbing to him, he was still happy to hear what he had to say.
21 Herodias had her opportunity on Herod's birthday. He gave a banquet for the nobles, military officers, and important leaders of Galilee. 22 Herodias' daughter came in and danced for them. Herod and those eating with him were delighted at her performance, so he told the girl, 23 “Ask me for whatever you like, and I'll give it to you.” He confirmed his promise with an oath, “I'll give you up to half my kingdom.”
24 She went out and asked her mother, “What should I ask for?”
“The head of John the Baptist,” she replied.
25 The girl hurried back in and said to the king, “I want you to give me right now the head of John the Baptist on a plate.”
26 The king was very upset, but because of the oaths he'd made in front of his guests, he didn't want to refuse her. 27 So he immediately sent an executioner to bring him John's head. After beheading him in the prison, 28 the executioner brought John's head on a plate and gave it to the girl, and the young girl handed it to her mother. 29 When John's disciples heard what had happened they came and took his body and placed it in a tomb.
The apostles returned‡
and gathered around Jesus. They told him all they had done and what they had taught.
31 “Come with me, just yourselves. We'll go to a quiet place, and rest for a while,” Jesus told them, because there was so much coming and going that they didn't even have time to eat. 32 So they went by boat to a quiet place to be alone.
33 But people saw them leaving and recognized them. So people from all the surrounding towns ran ahead and got there before them. 34 When Jesus got off the boat he saw a huge crowd, and he felt pity for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began to teach them about many things.
35 It was getting late in the day and Jesus' disciples came to him. They told him, “We're miles from anywhere, and it's really late. 36 You should tell the people to go and buy themselves something to eat in the villages and countryside nearby.”
37 But Jesus replied, “You give them something to eat.”
“What? We'd need more than six month's pay§
to buy bread to feed all these people,” the disciples replied.
38 “Well, how much bread do you have?” Jesus asked. “Go and see.”
They went and checked, and told him, “Five loaves, and a couple of fish.”
39 Jesus told everyone to sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 They sat in groups of hundreds and fifties. 41 Then he took the five loaves and the two fish. Looking up to heaven he blessed the food and broke the bread into pieces. Then he handed the bread to the disciples to give to the people, and he divided the fish up between all of them. 42 Everyone ate until they were full. 43 Then they collected up the leftovers of the bread and fish—twelve basketfuls. 44 A total of five thousand men plus their families ate the food.
45 Immediately after this Jesus instructed his disciples to get back into the boat. They were to go on ahead to Bethsaida on the other side of the lake while he sent the people on their way. 46 Once he'd said goodbye to them he went up into the hills to pray.
47 Late that evening the boat was in the middle of the lake while Jesus was alone, still on land. 48 He could see them being buffeted about as they rowed hard because the wind was blowing against them. In the early morning hours Jesus came to them, walking on the water. He would have passed them, 49 but when they saw him walking on the water they thought he was a ghost. They screamed out 50 because they could all see him and were absolutely terrified.
Jesus told them right away: “Don't worry, it's me. Don't be afraid!” 51 He went over to them and climbed into the boat, and the wind died down. They were totally shocked, 52 for they hadn't understood the meaning of the feeding miracle due to their stubborn, hard-hearted attitude.
53 After crossing the Sea they arrived at Gennesaret and moored the boat. 54 As they climbed out, the people immediately recognized Jesus. 55 They ran everywhere around the whole area to bring in all the sick on their mats to where they'd heard Jesus was. 56 Wherever he went, in the villages, in the towns, or in the countryside, they put the sick in the marketplaces and begged Jesus to let the sick touch just the edge of his clothes. Everyone who touched him was healed.