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 deeply regretted what he had said; but because of the vows he had made in front of his guests, he couldn’t refuse her.
So he immediately 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 to get 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 taught.
Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat.
So they left by boat for a quiet place, where they could be alone.
But many people recognized them and saw them leaving, and people from many towns ran ahead along the shore and got there ahead of them.
Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.
Late in the afternoon his disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late.
Send the crowds away so they can go to the nearby farms and villages and buy something to eat.”
But Jesus said, “You feed them.” “With what?” they asked. “We’d have to work for months to earn enough money to buy food for all these people!”
“How much bread 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 disciples to have the people sit down in groups on the green grass.
So they sat down in groups of fifty or a hundred.
Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he kept giving the bread to the disciples so they could distribute it to the people. He also divided the fish for everyone to share.
They all ate as much as they wanted,
and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftover bread and fish.
A total of 5,000 men and their families were fed.
Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and head across the lake to Bethsaida, while he sent the people home.
After telling everyone good-bye, he went up into the hills by himself to pray.
Late that night, the disciples were in their boat 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 Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. He intended to go past them,
but when they saw him walking on the water, they cried out in terror, thinking he was a ghost.