1 Leaving that district, he went to his home town, and his disciples accompanied him.
2 With the coming of the Sabbath he began teaching in the synagogue, and most of them were astonished when they heard him. They said, 'Where did the man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been granted him, and these miracles that are worked through him?
3 This is the carpenter, surely, the son of Mary, the brother of James and Joset and Jude and Simon? His sisters, too, are they not here with us?' And they would not accept him.
4 And Jesus said to them, 'A prophet is despised only in his own country, among his own relations and in his own house';
5 and he could work no miracle there, except that he cured a few sick people by laying his hands on them.
6 He was amazed at their lack of faith. He made a tour round the villages, teaching.
7 Then he summoned the Twelve and began to send them out in pairs, giving them authority over unclean spirits.
8 And he instructed them to take nothing for the journey except a staff -- no bread, no haversack, no coppers for their purses.
9 They were to wear sandals but, he added, 'Don't take a spare tunic.'
10 And he said to them, 'If you enter a house anywhere, stay there until you leave the district.
11 And if any place does not welcome you and people refuse to listen to you, as you walk away shake off the dust under your feet as evidence to them.'
12 So they set off to proclaim repentance;
13 and they cast out many devils, and anointed many sick people with oil and cured them.
14 King Herod had heard about him, since by now his name was well known. Some were saying, 'John the Baptist has risen from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.'
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15 Others said, 'He is Elijah,' others again, 'He is a prophet, like the prophets we used to have.'
16 But when Herod heard this he said, 'It is John whose head I cut off; he has risen from the dead.'
17 Now it was this same Herod who had sent to have John arrested, and had had him chained up in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife whom he had married.
18 For John had told Herod, 'It is against the law for you to have your brother's wife.'
19 As for Herodias, she was furious with him and wanted to kill him, but she was not able to do so,
20 because Herod was in awe of John, knowing him to be a good and upright man, and gave him his protection. When he had heard him speak he was greatly perplexed, and yet he liked to listen to him.
21 An opportunity came on Herod's birthday when he gave a banquet for the nobles of his court, for his army officers and for the leading figures in Galilee.
22 When the daughter of this same Herodias came in and danced, she delighted Herod and his guests; so the king said to the girl, 'Ask me anything you like and I will give it you.'
23 And he swore her an oath, 'I will give you anything you ask, even half my kingdom.'
24 She went out and said to her mother, 'What shall I ask for?' She replied, 'The head of John the Baptist.'
25 The girl at once rushed back to the king and made her request, 'I want you to give me John the Baptist's head, immediately, on a dish.'
26 The king was deeply distressed but, thinking of the oaths he had sworn and of his guests, he was reluctant to break his word to her.
27 At once the king sent one of the bodyguard with orders to bring John's head.
28 The man went off and beheaded him in the prison; then he brought the head on a dish and gave it to the girl, and the girl gave it to her mother.
29 When John's disciples heard about this, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.
30 The apostles rejoined Jesus and told him all they had done and taught.
31 And he said to them, 'Come away to some lonely place all by yourselves and rest for a while'; for there were so many coming and going that there was no time for them even to eat.
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32 So they went off in the boat to a lonely place where they could be by themselves.
33 But people saw them going, and many recognised them; and from every town they all hurried to the place on foot and reached it before them.
34 So as he stepped ashore he saw a large crowd; and he took pity on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd, and he set himself to teach them at some length.
35 By now it was getting very late, and his disciples came up to him and said, 'This is a lonely place and it is getting very late,
36 so send them away, and they can go to the farms and villages round about, to buy themselves something to eat.'
37 He replied, 'Give them something to eat yourselves.' They answered, 'Are we to go and spend two hundred denarii on bread for them to eat?'
38 He asked, 'How many loaves have you? Go and see.' And when they had found out they said, 'Five, and two fish.'
39 Then he ordered them to get all the people to sit down in groups on the green grass,
40 and they sat down on the ground in squares of hundreds and fifties.
41 Then he took the five loaves and the two fish, raised his eyes to heaven and said the blessing; then he broke the loaves and began handing them to his disciples to distribute among the people. He also shared out the two fish among them all.
42 They all ate as much as they wanted.
43 They collected twelve basketfuls of scraps of bread and pieces of fish.
44 Those who had eaten the loaves numbered five thousand men.
45 And at once he made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side near Bethsaida, while he himself sent the crowd away.
46 After saying goodbye to them he went off into the hills to pray.
47 When evening came, the boat was far out on the sea, and he was alone on the land.
48 He could see that they were hard pressed in their rowing, for the wind was against them; and about the fourth watch of the night he came towards them, walking on the sea. He was going to pass them by,
49 but when they saw him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost and cried out;
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50 for they had all seen him and were terrified. But at once he spoke to them and said, 'Courage! It's me! Don't be afraid.'
51 Then he got into the boat with them and the wind dropped. They were utterly and completely dumbfounded,
52 because they had not seen what the miracle of the loaves meant; their minds were closed.
53 Having made the crossing, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored there.
54 When they disembarked people at once recognised him,
55 and started hurrying all through the countryside and brought the sick on stretchers to wherever they heard he was.
56 And wherever he went, to village or town or farm, they laid down the sick in the open spaces, begging him to let them touch even the fringe of his cloak. And all those who touched him were saved.