Jesus Rejected at Nazareth
1Jesus left that part of the country and returned with his disciples to Nazareth, his hometown. 2The next Sabbath he began teaching in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. They asked, “Where did he get all this wisdom and the power to perform such miracles?” 3Then they scoffed, “He’s just a carpenter, the son of Mary and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon. And his sisters live right here among us.” They were deeply offended and refused to believe in him.
4Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his relatives and his own family.” 5And because of their unbelief, he couldn’t do any miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them. 6And he was amazed at their unbelief.
Jesus Sends Out the Twelve Disciples
Then Jesus went from village to village, teaching the people. 7And he called his twelve disciples together and began sending them out two by two, giving them authority to cast out evil spirits. 8He told them to take nothing for their journey except a walking stick—no food, no traveler’s bag, no money. 9He allowed them to wear sandals but not to take a change of clothes.
10“Wherever you go,” he said, “stay in the same house until you leave town. 11But if any place refuses to welcome you or listen to you, shake its dust from your feet as you leave to show that you have abandoned those people to their fate.”
12So the disciples went out, telling everyone they met to repent of their sins and turn to God. 13And they cast out many demons and healed many sick people, anointing them with olive oil.
The Death of John the Baptist
14Herod Antipas, the king, soon heard about Jesus, because everyone was talking about him. Some were saying, “This must be John the Baptist raised from the dead. That is why he can do such miracles.” 15Others said, “He’s the prophet Elijah.” Still others said, “He’s a prophet like the other great prophets of the past.”
16When Herod heard about Jesus, he said, “John, the man I beheaded, has come back from the dead.”
17For Herod had sent soldiers to arrest and imprison John as a favor to Herodias. She had been his brother Philip’s wife, but Herod had married her. 18John had been telling Herod, “It is against God’s law for you to marry your brother’s wife.” 19So Herodias bore a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But without Herod’s approval she was powerless, 20for Herod respected John; and knowing that he was a good and holy man, he protected him. Herod was greatly disturbed whenever he talked with John, but even so, he liked to listen to him.
21Herodias’s chance finally came on Herod’s birthday. He gave a party for his high government officials, army officers, and the leading citizens of Galilee. 22Then his daughter, also named Herodias, came in and performed a dance that greatly pleased Herod and his guests. “Ask me for anything you like,” the king said to the girl, “and I will give it to you.” 23He even vowed, “I will give you whatever you ask, up to half my kingdom!”
24She went out and asked her mother, “What should I ask for?”
Her mother told her, “Ask for the head of John the Baptist!”
25So the girl hurried back to the king and told him, “I want the head of John the Baptist, right now, on a tray!”
26Then the king deeply regretted what he had said; but because of the vows he had made in front of his guests, he couldn’t refuse her. 27So he immediately sent an executioner to the prison to cut off John’s head and bring it to him. The soldier beheaded John in the prison, 28brought his head on a tray, and gave it to the girl, who took it to her mother. 29When John’s disciples heard what had happened, they came to get his body and buried it in a tomb.
Jesus Feeds Five Thousand
30The apostles returned to Jesus from their ministry tour and told him all they had done and taught. 31Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat.
32So they left by boat for a quiet place, where they could be alone. 33But many people recognized them and saw them leaving, and people from many towns ran ahead along the shore and got there ahead of them. 34Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.
35Late in the afternoon his disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. 36Send the crowds away so they can go to the nearby farms and villages and buy something to eat.”
37But Jesus said, “You feed them.”
“With what?” they asked. “We’d have to work for months to earn enough money to buy food for all these people!”
38“How much bread do you have?” he asked. “Go and find out.”
They came back and reported, “We have five loaves of bread and two fish.”
39Then Jesus told the disciples to have the people sit down in groups on the green grass. 40So they sat down in groups of fifty or a hundred.
41Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he kept giving the bread to the disciples so they could distribute it to the people. He also divided the fish for everyone to share. 42They all ate as much as they wanted, 43and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftover bread and fish. 44A total of 5,000 men and their families were fed.
Jesus Walks on Water
45Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and head across the lake to Bethsaida, while he sent the people home. 46After telling everyone good-bye, he went up into the hills by himself to pray.
47Late that night, the disciples were in their boat in the middle of the lake, and Jesus was alone on land. 48He saw that they were in serious trouble, rowing hard and struggling against the wind and waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. He intended to go past them, 49but when they saw him walking on the water, they cried out in terror, thinking he was a ghost. 50They were all terrified when they saw him.
But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage! I am here!” 51Then he climbed into the boat, and the wind stopped. They were totally amazed, 52for they still didn’t understand the significance of the miracle of the loaves. Their hearts were too hard to take it in.
53After they had crossed the lake, they landed at Gennesaret. They brought the boat to shore 54and climbed out. The people recognized Jesus at once, 55and they ran throughout the whole area, carrying sick people on mats to wherever they heard he was. 56Wherever he went—in villages, cities, or the countryside—they brought the sick out to the marketplaces. They begged him to let the sick touch at least the fringe of his robe, and all who touched him were healed.