Teaching at Nazareth
1Jesus went out from there and came into His hometown; and His disciples followed Him. 2When the Sabbath came, He began to teach in the synagogue; and the many listeners were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get these things, and what is this wisdom given to Him, and such miracles as these performed by His hands? 3Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us?” And they took offense at Him. 4Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and among his own relatives and in his own household.” 5And He could do no miracle there except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. 6And He wondered at their unbelief.
And He was going around the villages teaching.
The Twelve Sent Out
7And He summoned the twelve and began to send them out in pairs, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits; 8and He instructed them that they should take nothing for their journey, except a mere staff-no bread, no bag, no money in their belt- 9but to wear sandals; and He added, “Do not put on two tunics.” 10And He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave town. 11Any place that does not receive you or listen to you, as you go out from there, shake the dust off the soles of your feet for a testimony against them.” 12They went out and preached that men should repent. 13And they were casting out many demons and were anointing with oil many sick people and healing them.
John’s Fate Recalled
14And King Herod heard of it, for His name had become well known; and people were saying, “John the Baptist has risen from the dead, and that is why these miraculous powers are at work in Him.” 15But others were saying, “He is Elijah.” And others were saying, “He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.” 16But when Herod heard of it, he kept saying, “John, whom I beheaded, has risen!”
17For Herod himself had sent and had John arrested and bound in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, because he had married her. 18For John had been saying to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” 19Herodias had a grudge against him and wanted to put him to death and could not do so; 20for Herod was afraid of John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he kept him safe. And when he heard him, he was very perplexed; but he used to enjoy listening to him. 21A strategic day came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his lords and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee; 22and when the daughter of Herodias herself came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests; and the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you want and I will give it to you.” 23And he swore to her, “Whatever you ask of me, I will give it to you; up to half of my kingdom.” 24And she went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask for?” And she said, “The head of John the Baptist.” 25Immediately she came in a hurry to the king and asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.” 26And although the king was very sorry, yet because of his oaths and because of his dinner guests, he was unwilling to refuse her. 27Immediately the king sent an executioner and commanded him to bring back his head. And he went and had him beheaded in the prison, 28and brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother. 29When his disciples heard about this, they came and took away his body and laid it in a tomb.
30The apostles gathered together with Jesus; and they reported to Him all that they had done and taught. 31And He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.” (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.) 32They went away in the boat to a secluded place by themselves.
Five Thousand Fed
33The people saw them going, and many recognized them and ran there together on foot from all the cities, and got there ahead of them. 34When Jesus went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and He felt compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things. 35When it was already quite late, His disciples came to Him and said, “This place is desolate and it is already quite late; 36send them away so that they may go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” 37But He answered them, “You give them something to eat!” And they said to Him, “Shall we go and spend two hundred denarii on bread and give them something to eat?” 38And He said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go look!” And when they found out, they said, “Five, and two fish.” 39And He commanded them all to sit down by groups on the green grass. 40They sat down in groups of hundreds and of fifties. 41And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He blessed the food and broke the loaves and He kept giving them to the disciples to set before them; and He divided up the two fish among them all. 42They all ate and were satisfied, 43and they picked up twelve full baskets of the broken pieces, and also of the fish. 44There were five thousand men who ate the loaves.
Jesus Walks on the Water
45Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side to Bethsaida, while He Himself was sending the crowd away. 46After bidding them farewell, He left for the mountain to pray.
47When it was evening, the boat was in the middle of the sea, and He was alone on the land. 48Seeing them straining at the oars, for the wind was against them, at about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea; and He intended to pass by them. 49But when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed that it was a ghost, and cried out; 50for they all saw Him and were terrified. But immediately He spoke with them and said to them, “Take courage; it is I, do not be afraid.” 51Then He got into the boat with them, and the wind stopped; and they were utterly astonished, 52for they had not gained any insight from the incident of the loaves, but their heart was hardened.
Healing at Gennesaret
53When they had crossed over they came to land at Gennesaret, and moored to the shore. 54When they got out of the boat, immediately the people recognized Him, 55and ran about that whole country and began to carry here and there on their pallets those who were sick, to the place they heard He was. 56Wherever He entered villages, or cities, or countryside, they were laying the sick in the market places, and imploring Him that they might just touch the fringe of His cloak; and as many as touched it were being cured.
1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
1. What is the character flaw that Herod exhibited in the murder of John?
2. Where and how did Jesus go to pray?
3. Consider the miracles the twelve saw in this passage. What relationship do they have to the statement in verse 52? What does this teach us about spreading the Gospel to others?