At that time Herod, the ruler of Galilee and Perea, heard reports about Jesus.
He said to his attendants, "This is John the Baptist. He has risen from the dead! That is why he has the power to do miracles."
Herod had arrested John. He had tied him up and put him in prison because of Herodias. She was the wife of Herod's brother Philip.
John had been saying to Herod, "It is against the Law for you to have her."
Herod wanted to kill John. But he was afraid of the people, because they thought John was a prophet.
On Herod's birthday the daughter of Herodias danced for Herod and his guests. She pleased Herod very much.
So he promised with an oath to give her anything she asked for.
Her mother told her what to say. So the girl said to Herod, "Give me the head of John the Baptist on a big plate."
The king was very upset. But he thought of his promise and his dinner guests. So he told one of his men to give her what she asked for.
Herod had John's head cut off in the prison.
His head was brought in on a big plate and given to the girl. She then carried it to her mother.
John's disciples came and took his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus.
Jesus heard what had happened to John. He wanted to be alone. So he went in a boat to a quiet place. The crowds heard about this. They followed him on foot from the towns.
When Jesus came ashore, he saw a large crowd. He felt deep concern for them. He healed their sick people.
When it was almost evening, the disciples came to him. "There is nothing here," they said. "It's already getting late. Send the crowds away. They can go and buy some food in the villages."
Jesus replied, "They don't need to go away. You give them something to eat."
"We have only five loaves of bread and two fish," they answered.
"Bring them here to me," he said.
Then Jesus directed the people to sit down on the grass. He took the five loaves and the two fish. He looked up to heaven and gave thanks. He broke the loaves into pieces. Then he gave them to the disciples. And the disciples gave them to the people.
All of them ate and were satisfied. The disciples picked up 12 baskets of leftover pieces.
The number of men who ate was about 5,000. Women and children also ate.
Right away Jesus made the disciples get into the boat. He had them go on ahead of him to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. Then he sent the crowd away.
After he had sent them away, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone.
The boat was already a long way from land. It was being pounded by the waves because the wind was blowing against it.
Early in the morning, Jesus went out to the disciples. He walked on the lake.
They saw him walking on the lake and were terrified. "It's a ghost!" they said. And they cried out in fear.
Right away Jesus called out to them, "Be brave! It is I. Don't be afraid."
"Lord, is it you?" Peter asked. "If it is, tell me to come to you on the water."
"Come," Jesus said. So Peter got out of the boat. He walked on the water toward Jesus.
But when Peter saw the wind, he was afraid. He began to sink. He cried out, "Lord! Save me!"
Right away Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "Your faith is so small!" he said. "Why did you doubt me?"
When they climbed into the boat, the wind died down.
Then those in the boat worshiped Jesus. They said, "You really are the Son of God!"
They crossed over the lake and landed at Gennesaret.
The men who lived there recognized Jesus. So they sent a message all over the nearby countryside. People brought all their sick to Jesus.
They begged him to let those who were sick just touch the edge of his clothes. And all who touched him were healed.