Jesus left that part of the country and returned with his disciples to Nazareth, his hometown.
The next Sabbath he began teaching in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished. They asked, "Where did he get all his wisdom and the power to perform such miracles?
He's just the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon. And his sisters live right here among us." They were deeply offended and refused to believe in him.
Then Jesus told them, "A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his relatives and his own family."
And because of their unbelief, he couldn't do any mighty miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them.
And he was amazed at their unbelief. Then Jesus went out from village to village, teaching.
And he called his twelve disciples together and sent them out two by two, with authority to cast out evil spirits.
He told them to take nothing with them except a walking stick -- no food, no traveler's bag, no money.
He told them to wear sandals but not to take even an extra coat.
"When you enter each village, be a guest in only one home," he said.
"And if a village won't welcome you or listen to you, shake off its dust from your feet as you leave. It is a sign that you have abandoned that village to its fate."
So the disciples went out, telling all they met to turn from their sins.
And they cast out many demons and healed many sick people, anointing them with olive oil.
Herod Antipas, the king, soon heard about Jesus, because people everywhere were talking about him. Some were saying, "This must be John the Baptist come back to life again. That is why he can do such miracles."
Others thought Jesus was the ancient prophet Elijah. Still others thought he was a prophet like the other great prophets of the past.
When Herod heard about Jesus, he said, "John, the man I beheaded, has come back from the dead."
For Herod had sent soldiers to arrest and imprison John as a favor to Herodias. She had been his brother Philip's wife, but Herod had married her.
John kept telling Herod, "It is illegal for you to marry your brother's wife."
Herodias was enraged and wanted John killed in revenge, but without Herod's approval she was powerless.
And Herod respected John, knowing that he was a good and holy man, so he kept him under his protection. Herod was disturbed whenever he talked with John, but even so, he liked to listen to him.
Herodias's chance finally came. It was Herod's birthday, and he gave a party for his palace aides, army officers, and the leading citizens of Galilee.
Then his daughter, also named Herodias, came in and performed a dance that greatly pleased them all. "Ask me for anything you like," the king said to the girl, "and I will give it to you."
Then he promised, "I will give you whatever you ask, up to half of my kingdom!"
She went out and asked her mother, "What should I ask for?" Her mother told her, "Ask for John the Baptist's head!"
So the girl hurried back to the king and told him, "I want the head of John the Baptist, right now, on a tray!"
Then the king was very sorry, but he was embarrassed to break his oath in front of his guests.
So he sent an executioner to the prison to cut off John's head and bring it to him. The soldier beheaded John in the prison,
brought his head on a tray, and gave it to the girl, who took it to her mother.
When John's disciples heard what had happened, they came for his body and buried it in a tomb.
The apostles returned to Jesus from their ministry tour and told him all they had done and what they had taught.
Then Jesus said, "Let's get away from the crowds for a while and rest." There were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn't even have time to eat.
They left by boat for a quieter spot.
But many people saw them leaving, and people from many towns ran ahead along the shore and met them as they landed.
A vast crowd was there as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he taught them many things.
Late in the afternoon his disciples came to him and said, "This is a desolate place, and it is getting late.
Send the crowds away so they can go to the nearby farms and villages and buy themselves some food."
But Jesus said, "You feed them." "With what?" they asked. "It would take a small fortune to buy food for all this crowd!"
"How much food do you have?" he asked. "Go and find out." They came back and reported, "We have five loaves of bread and two fish."
Then Jesus told the crowd to sit down in groups on the green grass.
So they sat in groups of fifty or a hundred.
Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and asked God's blessing on the food. Breaking the loaves into pieces, he kept giving the bread and fish to the disciples to give to the people.
They all ate as much as they wanted,
and they picked up twelve baskets of leftover bread and fish.
Five thousand men had eaten from those five loaves!
Immediately after this, Jesus made his disciples get back into the boat and head out across the lake to Bethsaida, while he sent the people home.
Afterward he went up into the hills by himself to pray.
During the night, the disciples were in their boat out in the middle of the lake, and Jesus was alone on land.
He saw that they were in serious trouble, rowing hard and struggling against the wind and waves. About three o'clock in the morning he came to them, walking on the water. He started to go past them,
but when they saw him walking on the water, they screamed in terror, thinking he was a ghost.
They were all terrified when they saw him. But Jesus spoke to them at once. "It's all right," he said. "I am here! Don't be afraid."
Then he climbed into the boat, and the wind stopped. They were astonished at what they saw.
They still didn't understand the significance of the miracle of the multiplied loaves, for their hearts were hard and they did not believe.
When they arrived at Gennesaret on the other side of the lake, they anchored the boat
and climbed out. The people standing there recognized him at once,
and they ran throughout the whole area and began carrying sick people to him on mats.
Wherever he went -- in villages and cities and out on the farms -- they laid the sick in the market plazas and streets. The sick begged him to let them at least touch the fringe of his robe, and all who touched it were healed.