1Jesus left and went home to Nazareth with his disciples. 2On 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? 3Isn'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.#6:3. “And rejected him”—implied in the idea of taking offense.
4“A prophet is treated with respect except in his home town, among his relatives, and within his own family,” Jesus told them. 5The result was that Jesus could not do any miracles there, except to heal a few sick people. 6He was amazed at their lack of trust.
Jesus traveled around the villages, teaching as he went. 7He called together the twelve disciples, and began sending them out two by two, giving them authority over evil spirits. 8He told them not to take anything with them except a walking stick—no bread, no bag, and no money in their belts. 9They could wear sandals, but they were not to take an extra shirt.
10“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.#6:11. Literally, “a witness to them.” The act of shaking even the dust of the place from your feet was to indicate you completely abandoned them.” 12So they went around telling people to repent. 13They drove out many demons, and healed many who were sick by anointing them with oil.
14King 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.” 15Others said, “It's Elijah.” Still others said, “He's a prophet, like one of the prophets of the past.”
16But when Herod heard about it, he said, “It's John, the one I beheaded! He's come back from the dead!” 17For Herod had given orders to arrest and imprison John because of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, whom Herod had married. 18John had been saying to Herod, “It's against the law to marry your brother's wife.” 19So Herodias had a grudge against John and wanted him killed. But she wasn't able to arrange it 20because 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.
21Herodias had her opportunity on Herod's birthday. He gave a banquet for the nobles, military officers, and important leaders of Galilee. 22Herodias' 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.”
24She went out and asked her mother, “What should I ask for?”
“The head of John the Baptist,” she replied.
25The 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.”
26The king was very upset, but because of the oaths he'd made in front of his guests, he didn't want to refuse her. 27So he immediately sent an executioner to bring him John's head. After beheading him in the prison, 28the executioner brought John's head on a plate and gave it to the girl, and the young girl handed it to her mother. 29When John's disciples heard what had happened they came and took his body and placed it in a tomb.
30The apostles returned#6:30. From their tour of the villages, spreading the good news. 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. 32So they went by boat to a quiet place to be alone.
33But people saw them leaving and recognized them. So people from all the surrounding towns ran ahead and got there before them. 34When 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.
35It 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. 36You should tell the people to go and buy themselves something to eat in the villages and countryside nearby.”
37But Jesus replied, “You give them something to eat.”
“What? We'd need more than six month's pay#6:37. Literally, “200 denarii.” 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.”
39Jesus told everyone to sit down in groups on the green grass. 40They sat in groups of hundreds and fifties. 41Then 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. 42Everyone ate until they were full. 43Then they collected up the leftovers of the bread and fish—twelve basketfuls. 44A total of five thousand men plus their families ate the food.
45Immediately 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. 46Once he'd said goodbye to them he went up into the hills to pray.
47Late that evening the boat was in the middle of the lake while Jesus was alone, still on land. 48He 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, 49but when they saw him walking on the water they thought he was a ghost. They screamed out 50because they could all see him and were absolutely terrified.
Jesus told them right away: “Don't worry, it's me. Don't be afraid!” 51He went over to them and climbed into the boat, and the wind died down. They were totally shocked, 52for they hadn't understood the meaning of the feeding miracle due to their stubborn, hard-hearted attitude.
53After crossing the Sea they arrived at Gennesaret and moored the boat. 54As they climbed out, the people immediately recognized Jesus. 55They ran everywhere around the whole area to bring in all the sick on their mats to where they'd heard Jesus was. 56Wherever 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.