Jesus goes to Nazareth
1 Jesus left that place. He went to his own town. His disciples went with him.
6:1Jesus' family lived in a town called Nazareth.
2 When it was the Jewish day for rest, Jesus went to their meeting place. He began to teach the people who were there. Many of them were surprised about the things that he was saying to them. They said to each other, ‘We do not know how this man learned these things. We do not know how he knows so much. And we do not know how he does all these powerful things. 3 Really, we know who this man is. He is the carpenter. He is the son of Mary. He is the brother of James, Joses, Simon and Judas. His sisters live here in the town among us. Isn't that true?’ So the people there did not accept Jesus.
6:3A carpenter is a man who works with wood. The people thought that they knew everything about Jesus. They believed that he was only a man like them.
4 Then Jesus said to them, ‘If a man is a prophet from God, people everywhere will say good things about him. But the people in his own town will not accept him. Even his own people and his own family will not say good things about him.’
5 Jesus could not do any powerful things in that town. But he did put his hands on a few sick people and he made them well. 6 Jesus was very surprised because the people in that town would not believe in him.
Then he went to visit the villages round there. He was teaching the people who lived in those villages.
Jesus sends the 12 disciples to tell God's message to people
7 Jesus asked his 12 disciples to come to him. He started to send them out to tell God's message to people. He sent them out two by two and he gave them authority over bad spirits.
8 Jesus told the disciples, ‘Only take a stick for the journey, nothing else. Do not take bread or a bag. Do not take money in your pockets. 9 Wear shoes but do not take extra clothes. 10 In each town, stay at the first house that you go into. Continue to stay there until you leave that town. 11 Perhaps you might go to a town where the people do not accept you. They will not listen to you. So you should leave that town. Clean that town's dirt off your feet. Then it will be clear that they have done something wrong.’
12 So the 12 disciples went out. They told people that they must change the way that they live. They must stop doing wrong things. 13 The disciples caused many bad spirits to come out of people. They also put oil on many sick people, and the sick people became well.
Herod kills John the Baptist
14 People were talking about Jesus and they told King Herod about these things. Some people were saying that Jesus was really John the Baptist. They said that John had died but he had become alive again. ‘That is why this man can do these very powerful things,’ they said.
15 Other people said, ‘This man is Elijah.’ And other people said, ‘He is a prophet. He is like one of God's prophets who lived a long time ago.’
6:15The name of this Herod was Herod Antipas and he ruled Galilee from 4 BC to 39 AD.
6:15Some of the people thought that Jesus was Elijah. Elijah was a special servant of God. He had spoken powerful messages from God and he had done many great things. Elijah did not die. God took him to heaven. We can read about this in 2 Kings 2. Malachi was another special servant of God. He said that Elijah would return. See Malachi 4:5. People who were God's special servants were called prophets.
16 But when someone told Herod, he said, ‘This is John. I sent a soldier to cut off his head. But he has become alive again!’
17 Herod himself had sent his soldiers to take hold of John. He had said to his soldiers, ‘Tie his hands and feet and put him in prison.’ Herod had done that because of his wife, Herodias. She had been the wife of Herod's brother Philip. But Herod had married her. 18 John had said to him, ‘Herodias is your brother's wife. It is not right for you to have her as your wife.’
6:18Herodias had left Philip, her husband. Then Herod married her. And so John told him what Moses had written in God's rules. God's rules said, ‘A man must not marry another man's wife.’ See Deuteronomy 5:18. Herod was angry with John when he told him that. So, Herod told his men that they must put John in a prison.
19 So, Herodias was very much against John. She wanted to kill him. But she could not do that. 20 That was because Herod was afraid of John. Herod knew that John was a good man and a servant of God. So Herod kept John safe. Herod liked to listen to what John said. But he did not know what to think about the things that John said.
21 Then, on one day, Herodias had her chance. It was Herod's birthday and he asked many people to come to a special meal. Important men and officers came, and the rulers from Galilee were also there. 22 The daughter of Herodias came in and she danced. Herod and his visitors were very happy when they saw her dance.
The king said to the girl, ‘Ask me for anything that you want. I will give it to you.’ 23 He made a strong promise, ‘I will give you anything that you ask me to give to you. I will even give you half of everything that I rule over.’
24 The girl went out and she said to her mother, ‘What should I ask him for?’ Her mother replied, ‘Ask for the head of John the Baptist.’
25 The girl went quickly to Herod and she said to him, ‘I want the head of John the Baptist. Put it on a plate! Do it now!’
26 Then Herod felt very sad. Because he had made a special promise, he did not want to refuse her. All his visitors had heard him. 27 So, immediately, the king sent a soldier to go to John. The king told the soldier that he must bring John's head. So the soldier went to the prison and he cut off John's head there. 28 Then he brought it back on a plate. He gave it to the girl, and she gave it to her mother. 29 People told John's disciples about what had happened. So they went to the prison and they took away John's body. Then they buried it.
Jesus gives food to 5,000 men and to their families
30 The apostles all came to Jesus. They told him about all the things that they had done. And they told him what they had taught. 31 Many people were coming to Jesus and then going away. Jesus and his disciples were too busy even to eat. So Jesus said to them, ‘Come with me to a place where there are no other people. We should be alone together. Then we can rest for a short time.’
32 So they left all the people behind. They went away in a boat together to a quiet place. 33 But many people saw that they were leaving the town. Those people recognised them. So they ran out from all the towns round there. They went on land and reached the place before Jesus and the disciples. 34 Jesus got out of the boat and he saw a large crowd. He felt sorry for them. He thought to himself, ‘These people are like sheep that have nobody to take care of them.’ So he began to teach them many things.
35 When it was almost evening time, Jesus' disciples came and said to him, ‘We are in a place where there are no houses. Soon it will be dark. 36 The people do not have anything to eat. So send them away now. Tell them to go to the farms and villages that are near here. Then they can buy some food for themselves to eat.’
37 ‘You should give them some food to eat,’ Jesus replied.
But the disciples said, ‘We cannot go to buy bread for all these people. A man must work for eight months to get the 200 coins that we would need for that. We cannot get enough food to give these people.’
6:37These coins were called denarii. People who worked received about one coin each day.
38 Jesus asked them, ‘How many loaves of bread do you have? Go and see.’ When they had looked, they told Jesus, ‘We have five loaves and two fish.’
39 Then Jesus told all the people to sit down on the green grass. He wanted them to sit in large groups. 40 So the people sat down in groups. Each group had 50 or 100 people in it. 41 Then Jesus took the 5 loaves of bread and the two fish. He looked up to heaven and he thanked God for the food. Then he broke the bread into pieces. He gave the pieces of bread to the disciples, and they gave the bread to the people. Jesus also broke the two fish into pieces for all the people. 42 Everyone ate and they all had enough food. They were not hungry any more. 43 Jesus' disciples then picked up all the bits of food that people had not eaten. They filled 12 baskets with little bits of bread and fish. 44 There were 5,000 men in the crowd that ate the food there.
6:44Women and children also ate the loaves and the fish.
Jesus walks on water
45 Immediately after this, Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Get in the boat and sail across the lake to Bethsaida.’ Jesus said that he would first send the crowd away. Then he would also leave. 46 So, he said, ‘Goodbye’ to the crowd. Then he went up on a mountain to pray.
47 That evening, the boat with the disciples in it was in the middle of the lake. Jesus was still alone on the land. 48 But he could see his disciples. They were trying to make the boat move along. But it was very difficult for them because the wind was blowing in the opposite direction. Then, when it was nearly dawn, Jesus walked on the water towards his disciples. He seemed to be going on past them. 49 But they saw that he was walking on the water. They thought, ‘It is a spirit.’ And they screamed out. 50 They all saw him and they were very afraid. But immediately Jesus said to them, ‘Be brave. It is I. Do not be afraid.’ 51 Then Jesus climbed up into the boat to be with them. The strong wind stopped. The disciples were completely surprised about what had happened. 52 They did not understand what Jesus had done with the loaves of bread. They were not ready to learn.
Jesus makes many sick people well
53 They sailed across the lake. They reached the shore at Gennesaret and they tied the boat there. 54 When they got out of the boat, the people recognised Jesus immediately. 55 They went to tell everyone who lived in places near there. They brought sick people to Jesus. They carried those people to him on mats. Whenever they knew where Jesus was, they brought sick people to him there. 56 Jesus went to villages, towns and farms. Everywhere that he went, they brought sick people to the markets in those places. The sick people asked Jesus for help. They wanted to touch even the edge of his coat. Every sick person who touched him became well.