John the Baptist Beheaded
1At that time Herod [Antipas], the tetrarch [who governed a portion of Palestine including Galilee and Perea], heard the reports about Jesus, 2and said to his attendants, “This is John the Baptist; he has been raised from the dead, and that is why the miraculous powers are at work in him.”
3For Herod had John arrested and bound him and put him in prison [at the fortress of Machaerus, east of the Jordan, to keep him away] because of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, 4for John had said to him, “It is not lawful (morally right) for you to have her [living with you as your wife].” 5Although Herod wished to have him put to death, he feared the people, for they regarded John as a prophet.
6But when Herod’s birthday came, [his niece Salome], the daughter of Herodias danced [immodestly] before them and pleased and fascinated Herod, 7so much that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. 8She, being coached by her mother [Herodias], said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” 9The king was distressed, but because of his oaths, and because of his dinner guests, he ordered it to be given her. 10He sent and had John beheaded in the prison. 11His head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother [Herodias]. 12And John’s disciples came and took away the body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus.
Five Thousand Fed
13When Jesus heard about John, He left there privately in a boat and went to a secluded place. But when the crowds heard of this, they followed Him on foot from the cities. 14When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt [profound] compassion for them and healed their sick.
15When evening came, the disciples came to Him and said, “This is an isolated place and the hour is already late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” 16But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat!” 17They replied, “We have nothing here except five loaves and two fish.” 18He said, “Bring them here to Me.” 19Then He ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and He took the five loaves and the two fish and, looking up toward heaven, He blessed and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people, 20and they all ate and were satisfied. They picked up twelve full baskets of the leftover broken pieces. 21There were about 5,000 men who ate, besides women and children.
Jesus Walks on the Water
22Immediately He directed the disciples to get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side [of the Sea of Galilee], while He sent the crowds away. 23After He had dismissed the crowds, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. When it was evening, He was there alone. 24But the boat [by this time] was already a long distance from land, tossed and battered by the waves; for the wind was against them. 25And in the fourth watch of the night (3:00-6:00 a.m.) Jesus came to them, walking on the sea. 26When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. 27But immediately He spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I! Do not be afraid!”
28Peter replied to Him, “Lord, if it is [really] You, command me to come to You on the water.” 29He said, “Come!” So Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30But when he saw [the effects of] the wind, he was frightened, and he began to sink, and he cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31Immediately Jesus extended His hand and caught him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33Then those in the boat worshiped Him [with awe-inspired reverence], saying, “Truly You are the Son of God!”
34When they had crossed over [the sea], they went ashore at Gennesaret. 35And when the men of that place recognized Him, they sent word throughout all the surrounding district and brought to Him all who were sick; 36and they begged Him to let them merely touch the fringe of His robe; and all who touched it were perfectly restored.