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