Jesus called the twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases.
Then he sent them out to preach the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick,
after saying to them, "Take nothing with you for the trip: no walking stick, no beggar's bag, no food, no money, not even an extra shirt.
Wherever you are welcomed, stay in the same house until you leave that town;
wherever people don't welcome you, leave that town and shake the dust off your feet as a warning to them." 1
The disciples left and traveled through all the villages, preaching the Good News and healing people everywhere.
When Herod, the ruler of Galilee, heard about all the things that were happening, he was very confused, because some people were saying that John the Baptist had come back to life. 2
Others were saying that Elijah had appeared, and still others that one of the prophets of long ago had come back to life.
Herod said, "I had John's head cut off; but who is this man I hear these things about?" And he kept trying to see Jesus.
The apostles came back and told Jesus everything they had done. He took them with him, and they went off by themselves to a town named Bethsaida.
When the crowds heard about it, they followed him. He welcomed them, spoke to them about the Kingdom of God, and healed those who needed it.
When the sun was beginning to set, the twelve disciples came to him and said, "Send the people away so that they can go to the villages and farms around here and find food and lodging, because this is a lonely place."
But Jesus said to them, "You yourselves give them something to eat." They answered, "All we have are five loaves and two fish. Do you want us to go and buy food for this whole crowd?"
(There were about five thousand men there.) Jesus said to his disciples, "Make the people sit down in groups of about fifty each."
After the disciples had done so,
Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up to heaven, thanked God for them, broke them, and gave them to the disciples to distribute to the people.
They all ate and had enough, and the disciples took up twelve baskets of what was left over.