Jesus Goes to His Hometown
1Jesus left there and went back to his hometown. His followers went with him. 2On the Sabbath day he taught in the synagogue. Many people heard him and were amazed. They said, “Where did this man get these teachings? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? And where did he get the power to work miracles? 3He is only the carpenter. His mother is Mary. He is the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon. And his sisters are here with us.” The people did not accept Jesus.
4Jesus said to them, “Other people give honor to a prophet. But in his own town with his own people and in his own home, a prophet does not receive honor.” 5Jesus was not able to work many miracles there. The only miracles he did were to heal some sick people by putting his hands on them. 6Jesus was amazed that they had no faith.
Then Jesus went to other villages in that area and taught. 7He called the 12 followers together and sent them out in groups of 2. He gave them authority over evil spirits. 8This is what Jesus told them: “Take nothing for your trip except a walking stick. Take no bread, no bag, and no money in your pockets. 9Wear sandals, and take only the clothes you are wearing. 10When you enter a house, stay there until you leave that place. 11If any town refuses to accept you or its people refuse to listen to you, then leave that town. Shake its dust off your feet.# A warning. It showed that they were finished talking to these people. This will be a warning to them.”# Some Greek copies continue, “I tell you the truth, on the Judgment Day it will be better for the towns of Sodom and Gomorrah than for the people of that town.” See Matthew 10:15.
12The followers went out and preached to the people to change their hearts and lives. 13The followers forced many demons out and poured olive oil on many sick people and healed them.
How John the Baptist Was Killed
14King Herod heard about Jesus, because Jesus was now well known. Some people said,# Some Greek copies read “He said.” “He is John the Baptist. He is risen from death. That is the reason he can work these miracles.”
15Others said, “He is Elijah.”# A man who spoke for God. He lived hundreds of years before Christ.
Other people said, “Jesus is a prophet. He is like the prophets who lived long ago.”
16Herod heard all these things about Jesus. He said, “I killed John by cutting off his head. Now he has been raised from death!”
17Herod himself had ordered his soldiers to arrest John, and John was put in prison. Herod did this to please his wife, Herodias. Herodias was the wife of Philip, Herod’s brother. But then Herod married her. 18John told Herod that it was not lawful for him to be married to his brother’s wife. 19So Herodias hated John and wanted to kill him. But she could not because of Herod. 20Herod was afraid to kill John because he knew John was a good and holy man. So Herod protected John. Also, Herod enjoyed listening to John preach. But John’s preaching always bothered him.
21Then the perfect time came for Herodias to cause John’s death. It happened on Herod’s birthday. Herod gave a dinner party for the most important government leaders, the commanders of his army, and the most important people in Galilee. 22The daughter of Herodias# Some Greek copies read “His daughter Herodias.” came to the party and danced. When she danced, Herod and the people eating with him were very pleased.
So King Herod said to the girl, “I will give you anything you want.” 23He promised her, “Anything you ask for I will give to you. I will even give you half of my kingdom.”
24The girl went to her mother and asked, “What should I ask the king to give me?”
Her mother answered, “Ask for the head of John the Baptist.”
25Quickly the girl went back to the king. She said to him, “Please give me the head of John the Baptist. Bring it to me now on a platter.”
26The king was very sad. But he had promised to give the girl anything she wanted. And the people eating there with him had heard his promise. So Herod could not refuse what she asked. 27Immediately the king sent a soldier to bring John’s head. The soldier went and cut off John’s head in the prison 28and brought it back on a platter. He gave it to the girl, and the girl gave it to her mother. 29John’s followers heard about what happened. So they came and got John’s body and put it in a tomb.
More Than 5,000 People Fed
30The apostles that Jesus had sent out to preach returned. They gathered around him and told him about all the things they had done and taught. 31Crowds of people were coming and going. Jesus and his followers did not even have time to eat. He said to them, “Come with me. We will go to a quiet place to be alone. There we will get some rest.”
32So they went in a boat alone to a place where there were no people. 33But many people saw them leave and recognized them. So people from all the towns ran to the place where Jesus was going. They got there before Jesus arrived. 34When he landed, he saw a great crowd waiting. Jesus felt sorry for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he taught them many things.
35It was now late in the day. Jesus’ followers came to him and said, “No one lives in this place. And it is already very late. 36Send the people away. They need to go to the farms and towns around here to buy some food to eat.”
37But Jesus answered, “You give them food to eat.”
They said to him, “We can’t buy enough bread to feed all these people! We would all have to work a month to earn enough money to buy that much bread!”
38Jesus asked them, “How many loaves of bread do you have now? Go and see.”
When they found out, they came to him and said, “We have five loaves and two fish.”
39Then Jesus said to the followers, “Tell all the people to sit in groups on the green grass.” 40So all the people sat in groups. They sat in groups of 50 or groups of 100. 41Jesus took the five loaves and two fish. He looked up to heaven and thanked God for the bread. He divided the bread and gave it to his followers for them to give to the people. Then he divided the two fish among them all. 42All the people ate and were satisfied. 43The followers filled 12 baskets with the pieces of bread and fish that were not eaten. 44There were about 5,000 men there who ate.
Jesus Walks on the Water
45Then Jesus told his followers to get into the boat and go to Bethsaida on the other side of the lake. Jesus said that he would come later. He stayed there to tell the people they could go home. 46After sending them away, he went into the hills to pray.
47That night, the boat was in the middle of the lake. Jesus was alone on the land. 48He saw the followers working hard to row the boat because the wind was blowing against them. At some time between three and six o’clock in the morning, Jesus came to them, walking on the water. He continued walking until he was almost past the boat. 49But when his followers saw him walking on the water, they thought he was a ghost and cried out. 50They all saw him and were terrified. But Jesus spoke to them and said, “Have courage! It is I! Do not be afraid.” 51Then he got into the boat with them. And the wind became calm. The followers were greatly amazed. 52They had seen Jesus make more bread from the five loaves. But they did not understand what it meant. Their minds were closed.
53When they had crossed the lake, they came to shore at Gennesaret. They tied the boat there. 54When they got out of the boat, the people saw Jesus and immediately recognized him. 55They ran to tell others everywhere in that area that Jesus was there. They brought sick people on mats to every place Jesus went. 56Jesus went into towns and cities and farms around that area. And everywhere he went, the people brought the sick to the marketplaces. They begged him to let them just touch the edge of his coat. And all who touched him were healed.