When Jesus heard the news about John, he left there in a boat and went to a lonely place by himself. The people heard about it, and so they left their towns and followed him by land.
Jesus got out of the boat, and when he saw the large crowd, his heart was filled with pity for them, and he healed their sick.
That evening his disciples came to him and said, "It is already very late, and this is a lonely place. Send the people away and let them go to the villages to buy food for themselves."
"They don't have to leave," answered Jesus. "You yourselves give them something to eat!"
"All we have here are five loaves and two fish," they replied.
"Then bring them here to me," Jesus said.
He ordered the people to sit down on the grass; then he took the five loaves and the two fish, looked up to heaven, and gave thanks to God. He broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people.
Everyone ate and had enough. Then the disciples took up twelve baskets full of what was left over.
The number of men who ate was about five thousand, not counting the women and children.
Then Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people away.
After sending the people away, he went up a hill by himself to pray. When evening came, Jesus was there alone;
and by this time the boat was far out in the lake, tossed about by the waves, because the wind was blowing against it.
Between three and six o'clock in the morning Jesus came to the disciples, walking on the water.
When they saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. "It's a ghost!" they said, and screamed with fear.
Jesus spoke to them at once. "Courage!" he said. "It is I. Don't be afraid!"
Then Peter spoke up. "Lord, if it is really you, order me to come out on the water to you."
"Come!" answered Jesus. So Peter got out of the boat and started walking on the water to Jesus.
But when he noticed the strong wind, he was afraid and started to sink down in the water. "Save me, Lord!" he cried.
At once Jesus reached out and grabbed hold of him and said, "What little faith you have! Why did you doubt?"
They both got into the boat, and the wind died down.
Then the disciples in the boat worshiped Jesus. "Truly you are the Son of God!" they exclaimed.
They crossed the lake and came to land at Gennesaret,
where the people recognized Jesus. So they sent for the sick people in all the surrounding country and brought them to Jesus.
They begged him to let the sick at least touch the edge of his cloak; and all who touched it were made well.
Then some Pharisees and teachers of the Law came from Jerusalem to Jesus and asked him,
"Why is it that your disciples disobey the teaching handed down by our ancestors? They don't wash their hands in the proper way before they eat!"
Jesus answered, "And why do you disobey God's command and follow your own teaching?
For God said, "Respect your father and your mother,' and "If you curse your father or your mother, you are to be put to death.'
But you teach that if people have something they could use to help their father or mother, but say, "This belongs to God,'
they do not need to honor their father. In this way you disregard God's command, in order to follow your own teaching.
You hypocrites! How right Isaiah was when he prophesied about you!
"These people, says God, honor me with their words, but their heart is really far away from me.
It is no use for them to worship me, because they teach human rules as though they were my laws!' "
Then Jesus called the crowd to him and said to them, "Listen and understand!
It is not what goes into your mouth that makes you ritually unclean; rather, what comes out of it makes you unclean."
Then the disciples came to him and said, "Do you know that the Pharisees had their feelings hurt by what you said?"
"Every plant which my Father in heaven did not plant will be pulled up," answered Jesus.
"Don't worry about them! They are blind leaders of the blind; and when one blind man leads another, both fall into a ditch."
Peter spoke up, "Explain this saying to us."
Jesus said to them, "You are still no more intelligent than the others.
Don't you understand? Anything that goes into your mouth goes into your stomach and then on out of your body.
But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these are the things that make you ritually unclean.
For from your heart come the evil ideas which lead you to kill, commit adultery, and do other immoral things; to rob, lie, and slander others.
These are the things that make you unclean. But to eat without washing your hands as they say you should - this doesn't make you unclean."