1. At that time Herod the tetrarch heard about the reputation of Jesus
2. and said to his court, 'This is John the Baptist himself; he has risen from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.'
3. Now it was Herod who had arrested John, chained him up and put him in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife.
4. For John had told him, 'It is against the Law for you to have her.'
5. He had wanted to kill him but was afraid of the people, who regarded John as a prophet.
6. Then, during the celebrations for Herod's birthday, the daughter of Herodias danced before the company and so delighted Herod
7. that he promised on oath to give her anything she asked.
8. Prompted by her mother she said, 'Give me John the Baptist's head, here, on a dish.'
9. The king was distressed but, thinking of the oaths he had sworn and of his guests, he ordered it to be given her,
10. and sent and had John beheaded in the prison.
11. The head was brought in on a dish and given to the girl, who took it to her mother.
12. John's disciples came and took the body and buried it; then they went off to tell Jesus.
13. When Jesus received this news he withdrew by boat to a lonely place where they could be by themselves. But the crowds heard of this and, leaving the towns, went after him on foot.
14. So as he stepped ashore he saw a large crowd; and he took pity on them and healed their sick.
15. When evening came, the disciples went to him and said, 'This is a lonely place, and time has slipped by; so send the people away, and they can go to the villages to buy themselves some food.'
16. Jesus replied, 'There is no need for them to go: give them something to eat yourselves.'
17. But they answered, 'All we have with us is five loaves and two fish.'
18. So he said, 'Bring them here to me.'
19. He gave orders that the people were to sit down on the grass; then he took the five loaves and the two fish, raised his eyes to heaven and said the blessing. And breaking the loaves he handed them to his disciples, who gave them to the crowds.
20. They all ate as much as they wanted, and they collected the scraps left over, twelve baskets full.
21. Now about five thousand men had eaten, to say nothing of women and children.
22. And at once he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side while he sent the crowds away.
23. After sending the crowds away he went up into the hills by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone,
24. while the boat, by now some furlongs from land, was hard pressed by rough waves, for there was a head-wind.
25. In the fourth watch of the night he came towards them, walking on the sea,
26. and when the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified. 'It is a ghost,' they said, and cried out in fear.
27. But at once Jesus called out to them, saying, 'Courage! It's me! Don't be afraid.'
28. It was Peter who answered. 'Lord,' he said, 'if it is you, tell me to come to you across the water.'
29. Jesus said, 'Come.' Then Peter got out of the boat and started walking towards Jesus across the water,
30. but then noticing the wind, he took fright and began to sink. 'Lord,' he cried, 'save me!'
31. Jesus put out his hand at once and held him. 'You have so little faith,' he said, 'why did you doubt?'
32. And as they got into the boat the wind dropped.
33. The men in the boat bowed down before him and said, 'Truly, you are the Son of God.'
34. Having made the crossing, they came to land at Gennesaret.
35. When the local people recognised him they spread the news through the whole neighbourhood and took all that were sick to him,
36. begging him just to let them touch the fringe of his cloak. And all those who touched it were saved.