A Prophet Without Honor
1Jesus left there and went to his hometown of Nazareth. His disciples went with him. 2When the Sabbath day came, he began to teach in the synagogue. Many who heard him were amazed.
“Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given to him? What are these remarkable miracles he is doing? 3Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son? Isn’t this the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” They were not pleased with him at all.
4Jesus said to them, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own town. He doesn’t receive any honor among his relatives or in his own home.” 5Jesus placed his hands on a few sick people and healed them. But he could not do any other miracles there. 6He was amazed because they had no faith.
Jesus Sends Out the Twelve Disciples
Jesus went around teaching from village to village. 7He called the 12 disciples to him. Then he began to send them out two by two. He gave them authority to drive out evil spirits.
8Here is what he told them to do. “Take only a walking stick for your trip. Do not take bread or a bag. Take no money in your belts. 9Wear sandals. But do not take extra clothes. 10When you are invited into a house, stay there until you leave town. 11Some places may not welcome you or listen to you. If they don’t, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet. That will be a witness against the people living there.”
12They went out. And they preached that people should turn away from their sins. 13They drove out many demons. They poured olive oil on many sick people and healed them.
John the Baptist’s Head Is Cut Off
14King Herod heard about this. Jesus’ name had become well known. Some were saying, “John the Baptist has been raised from the dead! That is why he has the power to do miracles.”
15Others said, “He is Elijah.”
Still others claimed, “He is a prophet. He is like one of the prophets of long ago.”
16But when Herod heard this, he said, “I had John’s head cut off. And now he has been raised from the dead!”
17In fact, it was Herod himself who had given orders to arrest John. He had him tied up and put in prison. He did this because of Herodias. She was the wife of Herod’s brother Philip. But now Herod was married to her. 18John had been saying to Herod, “It is against the Law for you to be married to your brother’s wife.” 19Herodias couldn’t forgive John for saying that. She wanted to kill him. But she could not, 20because Herod was afraid of John. So he kept John safe. Herod knew John was a holy man who did what was right. When Herod heard him, he was very puzzled. But he liked to listen to John.
21Finally the right time came. Herod gave a banquet on his birthday. He invited his high officials and military leaders. He also invited the most important men in Galilee. 22Then the daughter of Herodias came in and danced. She pleased Herod and his dinner guests.
The king said to the girl, “Ask me for anything you want. I’ll give it to you.” 23And he gave her his promise. He said to her, “Anything you ask for I will give you. I’ll give you up to half my kingdom.”
24She went out and said to her mother, “What should I ask for?”
“The head of John the Baptist,” she answered.
25At once the girl hurried to ask the king. She said, “I want you to give me the head of John the Baptist on a big plate right now.”
26The king was very upset. But he thought about his promise and his dinner guests. So he did not want to say no to the girl. 27He sent a man right away to bring John’s head. The man went to the prison and cut off John’s head. 28He brought it back on a big plate. He gave it to the girl, and she gave it to her mother. 29John’s disciples heard about this. So they came and took his body. Then they placed it in a tomb.
Jesus Feeds Five Thousand
30The apostles gathered around Jesus. They told him all they had done and taught. 31But many people were coming and going. So they did not even have a chance to eat. Then Jesus said to his apostles, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place. You need to get some rest.”
32So they went away by themselves in a boat to a quiet place. 33But many people who saw them leaving recognized them. They ran from all the towns and got there ahead of them. 34When Jesus came ashore, he saw a large crowd. He felt deep concern for them. They were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.
35By that time it was late in the day. His disciples came to him. “There is nothing here,” they said. “It’s already very late. 36Send the people away. Then they can go to the nearby countryside and villages to buy something to eat.”
37But Jesus answered, “You give them something to eat.”
They said to him, “That would take more than half a year’s pay! Should we go and spend that much on bread? Are we supposed to feed them?”
38“How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked. “Go and see.”
When they found out, they said, “Five loaves and two fish.”
39Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. 40So they sat down in groups of 100s and 50s. 41Jesus took the five loaves and the two fish. He looked up to heaven and gave thanks. He broke the loaves into pieces. Then he gave them to his disciples to pass around to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. 42All of them ate and were satisfied. 43The disciples picked up 12 baskets of broken pieces of bread and fish. 44The number of men who had eaten was 5,000.
Jesus Walks on the Water
45Right away Jesus made his disciples get into the boat. He had them go on ahead of him to Bethsaida. Then he sent the crowd away. 46After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray.
47Later that night, the boat was in the middle of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus was alone on land. 48He saw the disciples pulling hard on the oars. The wind was blowing against them. Shortly before dawn, he went out to them. He walked on the lake. When he was about to pass by them, 49they saw him walking on the lake. They thought he was a ghost, so they cried out. 50They all saw him and were terrified.
Right away Jesus said to them, “Be brave! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 51Then he climbed into the boat with them. The wind died down. And they were completely amazed. 52They had not understood about the loaves. They were stubborn.
53They went across the lake and landed at Gennesaret. There they tied up the boat. 54As soon as Jesus and his disciples got out, people recognized him. 55They ran through that whole area to bring to him those who were sick. They carried them on mats to where they heard he was. 56He went into the villages, the towns and the countryside. Everywhere he went, the people brought the sick to the market areas. Those who were sick begged him to let them touch just the edge of his clothes. And all who touched his clothes were healed.