Then Yeshua left and went to his home town, and his talmidim followed him.
On Shabbat he started to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They asked, "Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom he has been given? What are these miracles worked through him?
Isn't he just the carpenter? the son of Miryam? the brother of Ya`akov and Yosi and Y'hudah and Shim`on? Aren't his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him.
But Yeshua said to them. "The only place people don't respect a prophet is in his home town, among his own relatives, and in his own house."
So he could do no miracles there, other than lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them.
He was amazed at their lack of trust. Then he went through the surrounding towns and villages, teaching.
Yeshua summoned the Twelve and started sending them out in pairs, giving them authority over the unclean spirits.
He instructed them, "Take nothing for your trip except a walking stick -- no bread, no pack, no money in your belt.
Wear shoes but not an extra shirt.
Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place;
and if the people of some place will not welcome you, and they refuse to hear you, then, as you leave, shake the dust off your feet as a warning to them."
So they set out and preached that people should turn from sin to God,
they expelled many demons, and they anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.
Meanwhile, King Herod heard about this, for Yeshua's reputation had spread. Some were saying, "Yochanan the Immerser has been raised from the dead; that is why these miraculous powers are at work in him."
Others said, "It is Eliyahu!" and still others, "He is a prophet, like one of the old prophets."
But when Herod heard about it, he said, "Yochanan, whom I had beheaded, has been raised."
For Herod had sent and had Yochanan arrested and chained in prison because of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip. Herod had married her,
but Yochanan had told him, "It violates the Torah for you to marry your brother's wife."
So Herodias had a grudge against him and wanted him put to death. But this she could not accomplish,
because Herod stood in awe of Yochanan and protected him, for he knew that he was a tzaddik, a holy man. Whenever he heard him, he became deeply disturbed; yet he liked to listen to him.
Finally, the opportunity came. Herod gave a banquet on his birthday for his nobles and officers and the leading men of the Galil.
The daughter of Herodias came in and danced, and she pleased Herod and his guests. The king said to the girl, "Ask me for whatever you want; I will give it to you";
and he made a vow to her, "Whatever you ask me, I will give you, up to half my kingdom."
So she went out and said to her mother, "What should I ask for?" She said, "The head of Yochanan the Immerser."
At once the daughter hurried back to the king and announced her request: "I want you to give me right now on a platter the head of Yochanan the Immerser."
Herod was appalled; but out of regard for the oaths he had sworn before his dinner guests, he did not want to break his word to her.
So the king immediately sent a soldier from his personal guard with orders to bring Yochanan's head. The soldier went and beheaded Yochanan in the prison,
brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother.
When Yochanan's talmidim heard of it, they came and took the body and laid it in a grave.
Those who had been sent out rejoined Yeshua and reported to him all they had done and taught.
There were so many people coming and going that they couldn't even take time to eat, so he said to them, "Come with me by yourselves to a place where we can be alone, and you can get some rest."
They went off by themselves to an isolated spot;
but many people, seeing them leave and recognizing them, ran ahead on foot from all the towns and got there first.
When Yeshua came ashore, he saw a huge crowd. Filled with compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd, he began teaching them many things.
By this time, the hour was late. The talmidim came to him and said, "This is a remote place, and it's getting late.
Send the people away, so that they can go and buy food for themselves in the farms and towns around here."
But he answered them, "Give them something to eat, yourselves!" They replied, "We are to go and spend thousands on bread, and give it to them to eat?"
He asked them, "How many loaves do you have? Go and check." When they had found out, they said, "Five. And two fish."
Then he ordered all the people to sit down in groups on the green grass.
They sat down in groups of fifty or a hundred.
Then he took the five loaves and the two fish, and, looking up toward heaven, made a b'rakhah. Next he broke up the loaves and began giving them to the talmidim to distribute. He also divided up the two fish among them all.
They all ate as much as they wanted,
and they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces and fish.
Those who ate the loaves numbered five thousand men.
Immediately Yeshua had his talmidim get in the boat and go on ahead of him toward the other side of the lake, toward Beit-Tzaidah, while he sent the crowds away.
After he had left them, he went into the hills to pray.
When night came, the boat was out on the lake, and he was by himself on land.
He saw that they were having difficulty rowing, because the wind was against them; so at around four o'clock in the morning he came toward them, walking on the lake! He meant to come alongside them;
but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought it was a ghost and let out a shriek;
for they had all seen him and were terrified. However, he spoke to them. "Courage," he said, "it is I. Stop being afraid!"
He got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. They were completely astounded,
for they did not understand about the loaves; on the contrary, their hearts had been made stone-like.
After they had made the crossing, they landed at Ginosar and anchored.
As soon as they got out of the boat, the people recognized him
and began running around throughout that whole region and bringing sick people on their stretchers to any place where they heard he was.
Wherever he went, in towns, cities or country, they laid the sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch even the tzitzit on his robe, and all who touched it were healed.