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.
Some Pharisees and some teachers of the law came from Jerusalem to see Jesus. They asked,
"Why don't your disciples obey what the elders teach? Your disciples don't wash their hands before they eat!"
Jesus replied, "And why don't you obey God's command? You would rather follow your own teachings!
God said, 'Honor your father and mother.'#1(Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16)#2 He also said, 'If anyone calls down a curse on his father or mother, he will be put to death.'#1(Exodus 21:17; Leviticus 20:9)#2
But you allow people to say to their parents, 'Any help you might have received from us is a gift set apart for God.'
So they do not need to honor their parents with their gift. You make the word of God useless in order to follow your own teachings.
"You pretenders! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you. He said,
" 'These people honor me by what they say. But their hearts are far away from me.
Their worship doesn't mean anything to me. They teach nothing but human rules.' " #1(Isaiah 29:13)#2
Jesus called the crowd to him. He said, "Listen and understand.
What goes into your mouth does not make you 'unclean.' It's what comes out of your mouth that makes you 'unclean.' "
Then the disciples came to him. They asked, "Do you know that the Pharisees were angry when they heard this?"
Jesus replied, "There are plants that my Father in heaven has not planted. They will be pulled up by the roots.
Leave them. The Pharisees are blind guides. If a blind person leads another who is blind, both of them will fall into a pit."
Peter said, "Explain this to us."
"Don't you understand yet?" Jesus asked them.
"Don't you see? Everything that enters the mouth goes into the stomach. Then it goes out of the body.
But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart. Those are the things that make you 'unclean.'
Evil thoughts come out of the heart. So do murder, adultery, and other sexual sins. And so do stealing, false witness, and telling lies about others.
Those are the things that make you 'unclean.' But eating without washing your hands does not make you 'unclean.' "