14 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the report about Jesus. 2 “This is John the Baptist,” he told his servants. “He has been raised from the dead, and that’s why miraculous powers are at work in him.”
3 For Herod had arrested John, chained him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, 4 since John had been telling him, “It’s not lawful for you to have her.” 5 Though Herod wanted to kill John, he feared the crowd since they regarded John as a prophet.
6 When Herod’s birthday celebration came, Herodias’s daughter danced before them and pleased Herod. 7 So he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. 8 Prompted by her mother, she answered, “Give me John the Baptist’s head here on a platter.” 9 Although the king regretted it, he commanded that it be granted because of his oaths and his guests. 10 So he sent orders and had John beheaded in the prison. 11 His head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, who carried it to her mother. 12 Then his disciples came, removed the corpse, buried it, and went and reported to Jesus.
13 When Jesus heard about it, he withdrew from there by boat to a remote place to be alone. When the crowds heard this, they followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When he went ashore, he saw a large crowd, had compassion on them, and healed their sick.
15 When evening came, the disciples approached him and said, “This place is deserted, and it is already late. Send the crowds away so that they can go into the villages and buy food for themselves.”
16 “They don’t need to go away,” Jesus told them. “You give them something to eat.”
17 “But we only have five loaves and two fish here,” they said to him.
18 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 Then he commanded the crowds to sit down on the grass. He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them. He broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 20 Everyone ate and was satisfied. They picked up twelve baskets full of leftover pieces. 21 Now those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
22 Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 After dismissing the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. Well into the night, he was there alone. 24 Meanwhile, the boat was already some distance from land, battered by the waves, because the wind was against them. 25 Jesus came toward them walking on the sea very early in the morning. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost!” they said, and they cried out in fear.
27 Immediately Jesus spoke to them. “Have courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter answered him, “command me to come to you on the water.”
29 He said, “Come.”
And climbing out of the boat, Peter started walking on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the strength of the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand, caught hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”
32 When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 Then those in the boat worshiped him and said, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
34 When they had crossed over, they came to shore at Gennesaret. 35 When the men of that place recognized him, they alerted the whole vicinity and brought to him all who were sick. 36 They begged him that they might only touch the end of his robe, and as many as touched it were healed.
6 He left there and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. 2 When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished. “Where did this man get these things?” they said. “What is this wisdom that has been given to him, and how are these miracles performed by his hands? 3 Isn’t this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And aren’t his sisters here with us?” So they were offended by him.
4 Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown, among his relatives, and in his household.” 5 He was not able to do a miracle there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. 6 And he was amazed at their unbelief. He was going around the villages teaching.
7 He summoned the Twelve and began to send them out in pairs and gave them authority over unclean spirits. 8 He instructed them to take nothing for the road except a staff—no bread, no traveling bag, no money in their belts, 9 but to wear sandals and not put on an extra shirt. 10 He said to them, “Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that place. 11 If any place does not welcome you or listen to you, when you leave there, shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” 12 So they went out and preached that people should repent. 13 They drove out many demons, anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.
14 King Herod heard about it, because Jesus’s name had become well known. Some said, “John the Baptist has been raised from the dead, and that’s why miraculous powers are at work in him.” 15 But others said, “He’s Elijah.” Still others said, “He’s a prophet, like one of the prophets from long ago.”
16 When Herod heard of it, he said, “John, the one I beheaded, has been raised!”
17 For Herod himself had given orders to arrest John and to chain him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because he had married her. 18 John had been telling Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” 19 So Herodias held a grudge against him and wanted to kill him. But she could not, 20 because Herod feared John and protected him, knowing he was a righteous and holy man. When Herod heard him he would be very perplexed, and yet he liked to listen to him.
21 An opportune time came on his birthday, when Herod gave a banquet for his nobles, military commanders, and the leading men of Galilee. 22 When Herodias’s own daughter came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests. The king said to the girl, “Ask me whatever you want, and I’ll give it to you.” 23 He promised her with an oath: “Whatever you ask me I will give you, up to half my kingdom.”
24 She went out and said to her mother, “What should I ask for?”
“John the Baptist’s head,” she said.
25 At once she hurried to the king and said, “I want you to give me John the Baptist’s head on a platter immediately.” 26 Although the king was deeply distressed, because of his oaths and the guests he did not want to refuse her. 27 The king immediately sent for an executioner and commanded him to bring John’s head. So he went and beheaded him in prison, 28 brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl. Then the girl gave it to her mother. 29 When John’s disciples heard about it, they came and removed his corpse and placed it in a tomb.
30 The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all that they had done and taught. 31 He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a remote place and rest for a while.” For many people were coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.
32 So they went away in the boat by themselves to a remote place, 33 but many saw them leaving and recognized them, and they ran on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them.
34 When he went ashore, he saw a large crowd and had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. Then he began to teach them many things.
35 When it grew late, his disciples approached him and said, “This place is deserted, and it is already late. 36 Send them away so that they can go into the surrounding countryside and villages to buy themselves something to eat.”
37 “You give them something to eat,” he responded.
They said to him, “Should we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give them something to eat?”
38 He asked them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.”
When they found out they said, “Five, and two fish.” 39 Then he instructed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. 41 He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he blessed and broke the loaves. He kept giving them to his disciples to set before the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. 42 Everyone ate and was satisfied. 43 They picked up twelve baskets full of pieces of bread and fish. 44 Now those who had eaten the loaves were five thousand men.
45 Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go ahead of him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. 46 After he said good-bye to them, he went away to the mountain to pray. 47 Well into the night, the boat was in the middle of the sea, and he was alone on the land. 48 He saw them straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. Very early in the morning he came toward them walking on the sea and wanted to pass by them. 49 When they saw him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost and cried out, 50 because they all saw him and were terrified. Immediately he spoke with them and said, “Have courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 51 Then he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. They were completely astounded, 52 because they had not understood about the loaves. Instead, their hearts were hardened.
53 When they had crossed over, they came to shore at Gennesaret and anchored there.
54 As they got out of the boat, people immediately recognized him. 55 They hurried throughout that region and began to carry the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. 56 Wherever he went, into villages, towns, or the country, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and begged him that they might touch just the end of his robe. And everyone who touched it was healed.
9 Summoning the Twelve, he gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases. 2 Then he sent them to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
3 “Take nothing for the road,” he told them, “no staff, no traveling bag, no bread, no money; and don’t take an extra shirt. 4 Whatever house you enter, stay there and leave from there. 5 If they do not welcome you, when you leave that town, shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them.” 6 So they went out and traveled from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing everywhere.
7 Herod the tetrarch heard about everything that was going on. He was perplexed, because some said that John had been raised from the dead, 8 some that Elijah had appeared, and others that one of the ancient prophets had risen. 9 “I beheaded John,” Herod said, “but who is this I hear such things about?” And he wanted to see him.
10 When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus all that they had done. He took them along and withdrew privately to a town called Bethsaida. 11 When the crowds found out, they followed him. He welcomed them, spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing.
12 Late in the day, the Twelve approached and said to him, “Send the crowd away, so that they can go into the surrounding villages and countryside to find food and lodging, because we are in a deserted place here.”
13 “You give them something to eat,” he told them.
“We have no more than five loaves and two fish,” they said, “unless we go and buy food for all these people.” 14 (For about five thousand men were there.)
Then he told his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” 15 They did what he said, and had them all sit down. 16 Then he took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he blessed and broke them. He kept giving them to the disciples to set before the crowd. 17 Everyone ate and was filled. They picked up twelve baskets of leftover pieces.
18 While he was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?”
19 They answered, “John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, that one of the ancient prophets has come back.”
20 “But you,” he asked them, “who do you say that I am?”
Peter answered, “God’s Messiah.”
21 But he strictly warned and instructed them to tell this to no one, 22 saying, “It is necessary that the Son of Man suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, be killed, and be raised the third day.”
23 Then he said to them all, “If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me will save it. 25 For what does it benefit someone if he gains the whole world, and yet loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and that of the Father and the holy angels. 27 Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.”
28 About eight days after this conversation, he took along Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. 30 Suddenly, two men were talking with him—Moses and Elijah. 31 They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish in Jerusalem.
32 Peter and those with him were in a deep sleep, and when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men who were standing with him. 33 As the two men were departing from him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it’s good for us to be here. Let’s set up three shelters: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he was saying.
34 While he was saying this, a cloud appeared and overshadowed them. They became afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 Then a voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, the Chosen One; listen to him!”
36 After the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. They kept silent, and at that time told no one what they had seen.
37 The next day, when they came down from the mountain, a large crowd met him. 38 Just then a man from the crowd cried out, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, because he’s my only child. 39 A spirit seizes him; suddenly he shrieks, and it throws him into convulsions until he foams at the mouth; severely bruising him, it scarcely ever leaves him. 40 I begged your disciples to drive it out, but they couldn’t.”
41 Jesus replied, “You unbelieving and perverse generation, how long will I be with you and put up with you? Bring your son here.”
42 As the boy was still approaching, the demon knocked him down and threw him into severe convulsions. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, healed the boy, and gave him back to his father. 43 And they were all astonished at the greatness of God.
While everyone was amazed at all the things he was doing, he told his disciples, 44 “Let these words sink in: The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men.”
45 But they did not understand this statement; it was concealed from them so that they could not grasp it, and they were afraid to ask him about it.
46 An argument started among them about who was the greatest of them. 47 But Jesus, knowing their inner thoughts, took a little child and had him stand next to him. 48 He told them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me. And whoever welcomes me welcomes him who sent me. For whoever is least among you—this one is great.”
49 John responded, “Master, we saw someone driving out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him because he does not follow us.”
50 “Don’t stop him,” Jesus told him, “because whoever is not against you is for you.”
51 When the days were coming to a close for him to be taken up, he determined to journey to Jerusalem. 52 He sent messengers ahead of himself, and on the way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make preparations for him. 53 But they did not welcome him, because he determined to journey to Jerusalem. 54 When the disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?”
55 But he turned and rebuked them, 56 and they went to another village.
57 As they were traveling on the road someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
58 Jesus told him, “Foxes have dens, and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” 59 Then he said to another, “Follow me.”
“Lord,” he said, “first let me go bury my father.”
60 But he told him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and spread the news of the kingdom of God.”
61 Another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but first let me go and say good-bye to those at my house.”
62 But Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
I want you to catch what happens in the death of John the Baptist. He speaks the truth into a situation and is beheaded for it, but when it is reported to Jesus Matthew writes that Jesus retreated. Look what these verses say…13 When Jesus heard about it, he withdrew from there by boat to a remote place to be alone. When the crowds heard this, they followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When he went ashore, he saw a large crowd, had compassion on them, and healed their sick. So Jesus went to be alone because he heard about his cousin’s death, but the people, with an appetite for Jesus’ miracles, went and sought him out. But here is what I want us to see. When Jesus reached the shore, to be alone, the people were there waiting. Jesus, within his rights to be alone during a time of grieving, could have gotten irritated. He could have been annoyed and told them to leave him alone. But that is not what Jesus did. Jesus had compassion on them and began to heal them. Wow. Even in his time of grieving the horrific loss of his cousin, Jesus had compassion on people with needs and met them. Let us be more like Jesus today…to have compassion on people who have needs, even when it is not a great time for us in our personal situations.