Nazareth Rejects Jesus
Matthew 13:54–58; Luke 4:14–30
1 Jesus left that place and went to his hometown. His disciples followed him. 2 When the day of worship came, he began to teach in the synagogue. He amazed many who heard him. They asked, “Where did this man get these ideas? Who gave him this kind of wisdom and the ability to do such great miracles? 3 Isn’t this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” So they took offense at him.
4 But Jesus told them, “The only place a prophet isn’t honored is in his hometown, among his relatives, and in his own house.” 5 He couldn’t work any miracles there except to lay his hands on a few sick people and cure them. 6 Their unbelief amazed him.
Jesus Sends Out the Twelve
Matthew 10:5–42; Luke 9:1–6
Then Jesus went around to the villages and taught.
7 He called the twelve apostles, sent them out two by two, and gave them authority over evil spirits. 8 He instructed them to take nothing along on the trip except a walking stick. They were not to take any food, a traveling bag, or money in their pockets. 9 They could wear sandals but could not take along a change of clothes.
10 He told them, “Whenever you go into a home, stay there until you’re ready to leave that place. 11 Wherever people don’t welcome you or listen to you, leave and shake the dust from your feet as a warning to them.”
12 So the apostles went and told people that they should turn to God and change the way they think and act. 13 They also forced many demons out of people and poured oil on many who were sick to cure them.
Recalling John’s Death
Matthew 14:1–12; Luke 9:7–9
14 King Herod heard about Jesus, because Jesus’ name had become well-known. Some people were saying, “John the Baptizer has come back to life. That’s why he has the power to perform these miracles.” 15 Others said, “He is Elijah.” Still others said, “He is a prophet like one of the other prophets.” 16 But when Herod heard about it, he said, “I had John’s head cut off, and he has come back to life!”
17 Herod had sent men who had arrested John, tied him up, and put him in prison. Herod did that for Herodias, whom he had married. (She used to be his brother Philip’s wife.) 18 John had been telling Herod, “It’s not right for you to be married to your brother’s wife.”
19 So Herodias held a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But she wasn’t allowed to do it 20 because Herod was afraid of John. Herod knew that John was a fair and holy man, so he protected him. When he listened to John, he would become very disturbed, and yet he liked to listen to him.
21 An opportunity finally came on Herod’s birthday. Herod gave a dinner for his top officials, army officers, and the most important people of Galilee. 22 His daughter, that is, Herodias’ daughter, came in and danced. Herod and his guests were delighted with her. The king told the girl, “Ask me for anything you want, and I’ll give it to you.” 23 He swore an oath to her: “I’ll give you anything you ask for, up to half of my kingdom.”
24 So she went out and asked her mother, “What should I ask for?”
Her mother said, “Ask for the head of John the Baptizer.”
25 So the girl hurried back to the king with her request. She said, “I want you to give me the head of John the Baptizer on a platter at once.”
26 The king deeply regretted his promise. But because of his oath and his guests, he didn’t want to refuse her. 27 Immediately, the king sent a guard and ordered him to bring John’s head. The guard cut off John’s head in prison. 28 Then he brought the head on a platter and gave it to the girl, and the girl gave it to her mother.
29 When John’s disciples heard about this, they came for his body and laid it in a tomb.
Jesus Feeds Five Thousand
Matthew 14:13–21; Luke 9:10–17; John 6:1–14
30 The apostles gathered around Jesus. They reported to him everything they had done and taught. 31 So he said to them, “Let’s go to a place where we can be alone to rest for a while.” Many people were coming and going, and Jesus and the apostles didn’t even have a chance to eat.
32 So they went away in a boat to a place where they could be alone. 33 But many people saw them leave and recognized them. The people ran from all the cities and arrived ahead of them. 34 When Jesus got out of the boat, he saw a large crowd and felt sorry for them. They were like sheep without a shepherd. So he spent a lot of time teaching them.
35 When it was late, his disciples came to him. They said, “No one lives around here, and it’s already late. 36 Send the people to the closest farms and villages to buy themselves something to eat.”
37 Jesus replied, “You give them something to eat.”
They said to him, “Should we go and spend about a year’s wages on bread to feed them?”
38 He said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.”
When they found out, they told him, “Five loaves of bread and two fish.”
39 Then he ordered all of them to sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 They sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties.
41 After he took the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and blessed the food. He broke the loaves apart and kept giving them to the disciples to give to the people. He also gave pieces of the two fish to everyone. 42 All of them ate as much as they wanted. 43 When they picked up the leftover pieces, they filled twelve baskets with bread and fish. 44 There were 5,000 men who had eaten the bread.
Jesus Walks on the Sea
Matthew 14:22–36; John 6:15–21
45 Jesus quickly made his disciples get into a boat and cross to Bethsaida ahead of him while he sent the people away. 46 After saying goodbye to them, he went up a mountain to pray. 47 When evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea, and he was alone on the land.
48 Jesus saw that they were in a lot of trouble as they rowed, because they were going against the wind. Between three and six o’clock in the morning, he came to them. He was walking on the sea. He wanted to pass by them. 49 When they saw him walking on the sea, they thought, “It’s a ghost!” and they began to scream. 50 All of them saw him and were terrified.
Immediately, he said, “Calm down! It’s me. Don’t be afraid!” 51 He got into the boat with them, and the wind stopped blowing. The disciples were astounded. 52 (They didn’t understand what had happened with the loaves of bread. Instead, their minds were closed.)
53 They crossed the sea, came to shore at Gennesaret, and anchored there.
54 As soon as they stepped out of the boat, the people recognized Jesus. 55 They ran all over the countryside and began to carry the sick on cots to any place where they heard he was. 56 Whenever he would go into villages, cities, or farms, people would put their sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch the edge of his clothes. Everyone who touched his clothes was made well.