1 About that time Herod the tetrarch [Note: This man was the son of Herod the Great (See 2:
1 and governor of that district] heard the report about what Jesus had been saying and doing. 2 He told his servants, "This must be John, the Immerser; he has risen from the dead and [that explains how] these powers can work through him [i.e., Jesus]."
3 For Herod had arrested John and had him chained and put in prison in order to please Herodias, his brother Philip's wife. 4 For John had said to him, "It is not lawful for you to be married to her." 5 Now Herod wanted to have him put to death, [but hesitated], fearing the crowd, because they considered John to be a prophet.
6 But when Herod's birthday came, Herodias' daughter [Note: According to Josephus her name was Salome], pleased him by [her sensual] dancing in front of the party guests. 7 [Herod was so pleased with her performance that] he promised, with an oath, to give her whatever she asked for [i.e., with limitations. See Mark 6:23]. 8 Her mother persuaded her to say, "Give me the head of John, the Immerser, here on this [large] platter." 9 Now King Herod became very distressed [over such a gruesome request]; but because he had [promised with] oaths and [to look good in front of] his party guests, he ordered John's head to be given [to her]. 10 So, he sent [word to his officers] and had John decapitated in the prison. 11 His head was brought on a [large] platter and given to the young woman [i.e., Salome], and she took it to her mother [i.e., Herodias]. 12 Jesus' disciples came and took the body and buried it; then they went and told Jesus [all about the incident].
13 Now when Jesus heard about it He left there in a boat and went [across to the east side of the lake] to a deserted place. When the crowds found out [He was leaving] they followed Him [i.e., by traveling around] on the shore from the [surrounding] towns. 14 When Jesus came out [of His place of seclusion] and saw a large crowd, He felt a deep compassion for them and healed their sick people.
15 When it became evening, the disciples came to Him and said, "This place is deserted and it is getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go into the towns and buy food [for their supper]."
16 But Jesus said to them, "They do not need to go away; you men give them [something] to eat."
17 And they replied, "But we have here [only] five loaves of [barley] bread [See John 6:9] and two [probably smoked] fish."
18 And He said, "Bring the bread and fish here to me." 19 He ordered the crowds to recline on the grass. Then He took the five loaves of bread and two fish and, looking up to heaven, asked God's blessing on the food, broke it [in pieces], then gave it to the disciples to distribute to the crowds. 20 They all ate until they were full, then gathered up twelve baskets full of the remaining broken pieces. 21 Those eating numbered about five thousand men, in addition to the women and children.
22 Then immediately Jesus ordered the disciples to enter the boat and row on ahead of Him to the other side [i.e., to the west side of Lake Galilee] until He could send the crowds away. 23 After He had dispersed them, He went up into the mountain by Himself to pray. When evening had come He was there alone. 24 [Meanwhile] the boat, still some distance from shore, was being severely battered by the waves because of the opposing winds. 25 Then between three and six o'clock in the morning Jesus came walking to them on the [surface of the] lake. 26 When the disciples saw Him walking on the water they became frightened, saying, "It is a spirit!" and cried out with fear.
27 Just then Jesus called out to them, "Take courage and do not be afraid; it is I."
28 Peter answered Him, "Lord, if it is [really] you, ask me to come to you [walking] on the water."
29 And Jesus replied, "Come [ahead]." So, Peter climbed over the side of the boat and went to Jesus, walking on the water. 30 But when he saw the [furious] wind he became fearful and began to sink, shouting out, "Lord, save me!"
31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him and said, "You have such little faith; why did you doubt?" 32 And when they [i.e., both Jesus and Peter] got up into the boat, the wind [immediately] stopped. 33 Then the disciples in the boat worshiped Jesus, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."
34 And when they had [finally] crossed over [i.e., to the west side of the lake], they landed at the region of Gennesaret. 35 When the people there recognized Jesus, they sent to all the surrounding regions and had all who were sick brought to Him. 36 They begged Him that they might only touch the edge of His robe. And all those who got to touch it were made well.