When Jesus heard about John, he left in a boat and went to a place where he could be alone. The crowds heard about this and followed him on foot from the cities.
When Jesus got out of the boat, he saw a large crowd. He felt sorry for them and cured their sick people.
In the evening the disciples came to him. They said, "No one lives around here, and it's already late. Send the crowds to the villages to buy food for themselves."
Jesus said to them, "They don't need to go away. You give them something to eat."
They told him, "All we have here are five loaves of bread and two fish."
Jesus said, "Bring them to me."
Then he ordered the people to sit down on the grass. After he took the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and blessed the food. He broke the loaves apart, gave them to the disciples, and they gave them to the people.
All of them ate as much as they wanted. When they picked up the leftover pieces, they filled twelve baskets.
About five thousand men had eaten. (This number does not include the women and children who had eaten.)
Jesus quickly made his disciples get into a boat and cross to the other side ahead of him while he sent the people away.
After sending the people away, he went up a mountain to pray by himself. When evening came, he was there alone.
The boat, now hundreds of yards from shore, was being thrown around by the waves because it was going against the wind.
Between three and six o'clock in the morning, he came to them. He was walking on the sea.
When the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified. They said, "It's a ghost!" and began to scream because they were afraid.
Immediately, Jesus said, "Calm down! It's me. Don't be afraid!"
Peter answered, "Lord, if it is you, order me to come to you on the water."
Jesus said, "Come!" So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus.
But when he noticed how strong the wind was, he became afraid and started to sink. He shouted, "Lord, save me!"
Immediately, Jesus reached out, caught hold of him, and said, "You have so little faith! Why did you doubt?"
When they got into the boat, the wind stopped blowing.
The men in the boat bowed down in front of Jesus and said, "You are truly the Son of God."
They crossed the sea and landed at Gennesaret.
The men there recognized Jesus and sent messengers all around the countryside. The people brought him everyone who was sick.
They begged him to let them touch just the edge of his clothes. Everyone who touched his clothes was made well.
Then some Pharisees and scribes came from Jerusalem to Jesus. They asked,
"Why do your disciples break the traditions of our ancestors? They do not wash their hands before they eat."
He answered them, "Why do you break the commandment of God because of your traditions?
For example, God said, 'Honor your father and your mother' and 'Whoever curses father or mother must be put to death.'
But you say that whoever tells his father or mother, 'I have given to God whatever support you might have received from me,'
does not have to honor his father. Because of your traditions you have destroyed the authority of God's word.
You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:
'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
Their worship of me is pointless, because their teachings are rules made by humans.'"
Then he called the crowd and said to them, "Listen and try to understand!
What goes into a person's mouth doesn't make him unclean. It's what comes out of the mouth that makes a person unclean."
Then the disciples came and said to him, "Do you realize that when the Pharisees heard your statement they were offended?"
He answered, "Any plant that my heavenly Father did not plant will be uprooted.
Leave them alone! They are blind leaders. When one blind person leads another, both will fall into the same pit."
Peter said to him, "Explain this illustration to us."
Jesus said, "Don't you understand yet?
Don't you know that whatever goes into the mouth goes into the stomach and then into a toilet?
But whatever goes out of the mouth comes from within, and that's what makes a person unclean.
Evil thoughts, murder, adultery, [other] sexual sins, stealing, lying, and cursing come from within.
These are the things that make a person unclean. But eating without washing one's hands doesn't make a person unclean."