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Chapter 6

1Leaving there he went, followed by his disciples, to his own part of the country. 2When the Sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue. And the people were astonished when they heard him, and said,

“Where did he get all this? How does he come to have such wisdom? How are such marvelous things done through him? 3Is he not the carpenter, Mary’s son, and the brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And do not his sisters live here among us?”

4And they took offense at him. Jesus said to them,

“A prophet is treated with honor everywhere except in his native place and among his relatives and at his home.”

5He could not do any wonder there, except that he put his hands on a few sick people and cured them. 6And he wondered at their want of faith.

Then he went around among the villages teaching. 7And he called the Twelve to him and sent them off two by two, giving them power over the foul spirits. 8He forbade them to take anything for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no small change even in their girdles; 9they were to go in sandals, and not to wear two shirts. 10And he said to them,

“Whenever you go to stay at a house, remain in it till you leave that place. 11If any place refuses to receive you or to listen to you, when you leave it shake off the very dust from the soles of your feet as a warning to them.”

12So they went out and preached that men should repent, 13and drove out many demons, and cured many sick people by anointing them with oil.

14King Herod heard of him, for his name was now well known, and people were saying that John the baptizer had risen from the dead, and that that was why he was endowed with these extraordinary powers. 15But others said he was Elijah, and still others that he was a prophet of the old prophetic kind. 16But when Herod heard of him he said,

“John, whom I beheaded, has risen from the dead.”

17For it was Herod who had sent and seized John and bound him and put him in prison, on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because Herod had married her. 18John said to Herod,

“It is not right for you to be living with your brother’s wife.”

19Herodias felt bitterly toward him and wanted him killed. But she could not bring it about, 20for Herod stood in awe of John, knowing that he was an upright and holy man, and he protected him. And when he heard him talk he was very much disturbed, and yet he liked to hear him. 21When a holiday came and Herod on his birthday gave a banquet to his courtiers and officers and to the leading men of Galilee, 22Herodias’ own daughter came in and danced for them. And Herod and his guests were delighted, and the king said to the girl,

23“Ask me for anything you like and I will give it to you.” And he made oath to her,

“I will give you whatever you ask me for, up to half my kingdom.”

24When she had left the room she said to her mother,

“What shall I ask him for?”

But she said,

“The head of John the baptizer.”

25And she hurried back at once to the king and asked him for it, saying,

“I want you right away to give me John the Baptist’s head on a platter.”

26The king was exceedingly sorry, but on account of his oath and his guests he did not like to break his word to her, 27and he immediately sent one of his guard with orders to get John’s head. 28And he went off and beheaded him in the prison and brought back his head on a platter and gave it to the girl, and the girl gave it to her mother. 29When his disciples heard of it they came and took his body away and put it in a tomb.

30The apostles rejoined Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. 31And he said to them,

“Come away by yourselves to some quiet place, and rest a little while.”

For people were coming and going in large numbers, and they had no time even for meals. 32So they set off by themselves in their boat for a secluded place. 33And many people saw them start and knew of it, and hurried around by land from all the neighboring towns, and got ahead of them. 34So when he got out of the boat, he found a great crowd gathered, and his heart was touched at the sight of them, because they were like sheep that have no shepherd; and he proceeded to teach them a great deal. 35When it grew late his disciples came up to him and said,

“This is a lonely place and it is getting late. 36Send the people off to the farms and villages around to buy themselves something to eat.”

37But he answered,

“Give them food yourselves.”

They said to him,

“Can we go and buy forty dollars’ worth of bread and give it to them to eat?”

38But he said to them,

“How many loaves have you? Go and see.”

They looked, and told him.

“Five, and two fish.”

39And he directed them all to sit down in parties on the fresh grass. 40And they threw themselves down in groups, in hundreds and in fifties. 41Then he took the five loaves and the two fish and looked up to heaven and blessed the loaves and broke them in pieces and gave them to the disciples to pass to the people; and he divided the two fish among them all. 42And they all ate and had enough. 43And the pieces they gathered up filled twelve baskets, besides the pieces of the fish. 44There were five thousand men who ate the loaves.

45He immediately had his disciples get into the boat and cross before him to the other side toward Bethsaida, while he was dismissing the crowd. 46When he had taken leave of the people he went up the hill to pray. 47When evening came on, the boat was in the middle of the sea, and he was alone on shore. 48And he saw that they were straining at the oars, for the wind was against them, and toward morning he went out to them, walking on the sea, and was going to join them. 49They saw him walking on the sea, and thought it was a ghost and screamed aloud, 50for they all saw him and were terrified. But he immediately spoke to them and said,

“Take courage, it is I. Do not be afraid.”

51Then he went up to them and got into the boat. And the wind fell. And they were perfectly beside themselves, 52for they had not understood about the loaves, but their minds were blinded.

53They crossed over to the other side and came to Gennesaret and moored the boat. 54As soon as they came ashore, the people recognized Jesus, 55and they hurried all over the countryside and began to bring the sick to him on their mats, wherever they heard he was. 56And whatever village or town or farm he went to, they would lay their sick in the market-place and beg him to let them touch just the tassel of his cloak, and all who touched it were cured.

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