John the Baptist Beheaded
1 At that time Herod [Antipas], the tetrarch [who governed a portion of Palestine including Galilee and Perea], heard the reports about Jesus,(A) 2 and said to his attendants, “This is John the Baptist; he has been raised from the dead, and that is why the miraculous powers are at work in him.”
3 For Herod had John arrested and bound him and put him in prison [at the fortress of Machaerus, east of the Jordan, to keep him away] because of (a)Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip,(B) 4 for John had said to him, “It is not lawful (morally right) for you to have her [living with you as your wife].”(C) 5 Although Herod wished to have him put to death, he feared the people, for they regarded John as a prophet.
6 But when Herod’s birthday came, [his niece Salome], the daughter of Herodias danced [immodestly] before them and pleased and fascinated Herod, 7 so much that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. 8 She, being coached by her mother [Herodias], said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” 9 The king was distressed, but because of his oaths, and because of his dinner guests, he ordered it to be given her. 10 He sent and had John beheaded in the prison. 11 His head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother [Herodias]. 12 And John’s disciples came and took away the body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus.
Five Thousand Fed
13 When Jesus heard about John, He left there privately in a boat and went to a secluded place. But when the crowds heard of this, they followed Him on foot from the cities.(D) 14 When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt [profound] compassion for them and healed their sick.
15 When evening came, the disciples came to Him and said, “This is an isolated place and the hour is already late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” 16 But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat!” 17 They replied, “We have nothing here except five loaves and two fish.” 18 He said, “Bring them here to Me.” 19 Then He ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and He took the five loaves and the two fish and, looking up toward heaven, He blessed and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people, 20 and they all ate and were satisfied. They picked up twelve full baskets of the leftover broken pieces. 21 There were about 5,000 men who ate, besides women and children.
Jesus Walks on the Water
22 Immediately He directed the disciples to get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side [of the Sea of Galilee], while He sent the crowds away.(E) 23 After He had dismissed the crowds, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. When it was evening, He was there alone. 24 But the boat [by this time] was already a (b)long distance from land, tossed and battered by the waves; for the wind was against them. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night (3:00-6:00 a.m.) Jesus came to them, walking on the sea.(F) 26 When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately He spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I! Do not be afraid!”(G)
28 Peter replied to Him, “Lord, if it is [really] You, command me to come to You on the water.” 29 He said, “Come!” So Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw [the effects of] the wind, he was frightened, and he began to sink, and he cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus extended His hand and caught him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you (c)doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 Then those in the boat worshiped Him [with awe-inspired reverence], saying, “Truly You are the Son of God!”
34 When they had crossed over [the sea], they went ashore at Gennesaret. 35 And when the men of that place recognized Him, they sent word throughout all the surrounding district and brought to Him all who were sick; 36 and they begged Him to let them merely touch the fringe of His robe; and all who touched it were perfectly restored.(H)
a. Matthew 14:3: Herodias was not the lawful wife of Herod Antipas. She was married to her uncle, Herod Philip I. She deserted him in order to live with another uncle, Herod Antipas, whose legal wife was the daughter of Aretas, King of Arabia.
b. Matthew 14:24: Lit many stadia; a stadion being about an eighth of a mile or 192 meters.
c. Matthew 14:31: I.e. allow yourself to be drawn in two directions.