At that time Herod, the ruler of Galilee, heard the reports about Jesus.
So he said to his servants, "Jesus is John the Baptist, who has risen from the dead. That is why he can work these miracles."
Sometime before this, Herod had arrested John, tied him up, and put him into prison. Herod did this because of Herodias, who had been the wife of Philip, Herod's brother.
John had been telling Herod, "It is not lawful for you to be married to Herodias."
Herod wanted to kill John, but he was afraid of the people, because they believed John was a prophet.
On Herod's birthday, the daughter of Herodias danced for Herod and his guests, and she pleased him.
So he promised with an oath to give her anything she wanted.
Herodias told her daughter what to ask for, so she said to Herod, "Give me the head of John the Baptist here on a platter."
Although King Herod was very sad, he had made a promise, and his dinner guests had heard him. So Herod ordered that what she asked for be done.
He sent soldiers to the prison to cut off John's head.
And they brought it on a platter and gave it to the girl, and she took it to her mother.
John's followers came and got his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus.
When Jesus heard what had happened to John, he left in a boat and went to a lonely place by himself. But the crowds heard about it and followed him on foot from the towns.
When he arrived, he saw a great crowd waiting. He felt sorry for them and healed those who were sick.
When it was evening, his followers came to him and said, "No one lives in this place, and it is already late. Send the people away so they can go to the towns and buy food for themselves."
But Jesus answered, "They don't need to go away. You give them something to eat."
They said to him, "But we have only five loaves of bread and two fish."
Jesus said, "Bring the bread and the fish to me."
Then he told the people to sit down on the grass. He took the five loaves and the two fish and, looking to heaven, he thanked God for the food. Jesus divided the bread and gave it to his followers, who gave it to the people.
All the people ate and were satisfied. Then the followers filled twelve baskets with the leftover pieces of food.
There were about five thousand men there who ate, not counting women and children.
Immediately Jesus told his followers to get into the boat and go ahead of him across the lake. He stayed there to send the people home.
After he had sent them away, he went by himself up into the hills to pray. It was late, and Jesus was there alone.
By this time, the boat was already far away from land. It was being hit by waves, because the wind was blowing against it.
Between three and six o'clock in the morning, Jesus came to them, walking on the water.
When his followers saw him walking on the water, they were afraid. They said, "It's a ghost!" and cried out in fear.
But Jesus quickly spoke to them, "Have courage! It is I. Do not be afraid."
Peter said, "Lord, if it is really you, then command me to come to you on the water."
Jesus said, "Come." And Peter left the boat and walked on the water to Jesus.
But when Peter saw the wind and the waves, he became afraid and began to sink. He shouted, "Lord, save me!"
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught Peter. Jesus said, "Your faith is small. Why did you doubt?"
After they got into the boat, the wind became calm.
Then those who were in the boat worshiped Jesus and said, "Truly you are the Son of God!"
When they had crossed the lake, they came to shore at Gennesaret.
When the people there recognized Jesus, they told people all around there that Jesus had come, and they brought all their sick to him.
They begged Jesus to let them touch just the edge of his coat, and all who touched it were healed.