Nazareth Rejects Jesus
(Matthew 13:54–58; Luke 4:14–30)
1Jesus left that place and went to his hometown. His disciples followed him. 2When the day of rest—a holy day, 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? 3Isn’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.
4But Jesus told them, “The only place a prophet isn’t honored is in his hometown, among his relatives, and in his own house.” 5He couldn’t work any miracles there except to lay his hands on a few sick people and cure them. 6Their 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.
7He called the twelve apostles, sent them out two by two, and gave them authority over evil spirits. 8He 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. 9They could wear sandals but could not take along a change of clothes.
10He told them, “Whenever you go into a home, stay there until you’re ready to leave that place. 11Wherever people don’t welcome you or listen to you, leave and shake the dust from your feet as a warning to them.”
12So the apostles went and told people that they should turn to God and change the way they think and act. 13They 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)
14King 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.” 15Others said, “He is Elijah.” Still others said, “He is a prophet like one of the other prophets.” 16But when Herod heard about it, he said, “I had John’s head cut off, and he has come back to life!”
17Herod 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.) 18John had been telling Herod, “It’s not right for you to be married to your brother’s wife.”
19So Herodias held a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But she wasn’t allowed to do it 20because 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.
21An opportunity finally came on Herod’s birthday. Herod gave a dinner for his top officials, army officers, and the most important people of Galilee. 22His 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.” 23He swore an oath to her: “I’ll give you anything you ask for, up to half of my kingdom.”
24So she went out and asked her mother, “What should I ask for?”
Her mother said, “Ask for the head of John the Baptizer.”
25So 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.”
26The king deeply regretted his promise. But because of his oath and his guests, he didn’t want to refuse her. 27Immediately, the king sent a guard and ordered him to bring John’s head. The guard cut off John’s head in prison. 28Then he brought the head on a platter and gave it to the girl, and the girl gave it to her mother.
29When 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)
30The apostles gathered around Jesus. They reported to him everything they had done and taught. 31So 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.
32So they went away in a boat to a place where they could be alone. 33But many people saw them leave and recognized them. The people ran from all the cities and arrived ahead of them. 34When 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.
35When it was late, his disciples came to him. They said, “No one lives around here, and it’s already late. 36Send the people to the closest farms and villages to buy themselves something to eat.”
37Jesus 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?”
38He 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.”
39Then he ordered all of them to sit down in groups on the green grass. 40They sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties.
41After 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. 42All of them ate as much as they wanted. 43When they picked up the leftover pieces, they filled twelve baskets with bread and fish. 44There were 5,000 men who had eaten the bread.
Jesus Walks on the Sea
(Matthew 14:22–36; John 6:15–21)
45Jesus quickly made his disciples get into a boat and cross to Bethsaida ahead of him while he sent the people away. 46After saying goodbye to them, he went up a mountain to pray. 47When evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea, and he was alone on the land.
48Jesus 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. 49When they saw him walking on the sea, they thought, “It’s a ghost!” and they began to scream. 50All of them saw him and were terrified.
Immediately, he said, “Calm down! It’s me. Don’t be afraid!” 51He 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.)
53They crossed the sea, came to shore at Gennesaret, and anchored there.
54As soon as they stepped out of the boat, the people recognized Jesus. 55They ran all over the countryside and began to carry the sick on cots to any place where they heard he was. 56Whenever 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.