Again He began to teach by the sea, and a very large crowd gathered around Him. So He got into a boat on the sea and sat down, while the whole crowd was on the shore facing the sea.
He taught them many things in parables, and in His teaching He said to them:
"Listen! Consider the sower who went out to sow.
As he sowed, this occurred: Some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.
Other seed fell on rocky ground where it didn't have much soil, and it sprang up right away, since it didn't have deep soil.
When the sun came up, it was scorched, and since it didn't have a root, it withered.
Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it, and it didn't produce a crop.
Still others fell on good ground and produced a crop that increased 30, 60, and 100 times [what was sown]."
Then He said, "Anyone who has ears to hear should listen!"
When He was alone with the Twelve, those who were around Him asked Him about the parables.
He answered them, "The secret of the kingdom of God has been granted to you, but to those outside, everything comes in parables
so that they may look and look, yet not perceive; they may listen and listen, yet not understand; otherwise, they might turn back-- and be forgiven."
Then He said to them: "Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand any of the parables?
The sower sows the word.
These are the ones along the path where the word is sown: when they hear, immediately Satan comes and takes away the word sown in them.
And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: when they hear the word, immediately they receive it with joy.
But they have no root in themselves; they are short-lived. When affliction or persecution comes because of the word, they immediately stumble.
Others are sown among thorns; these are the ones who hear the word,
but the worries of this age, the seduction of wealth, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
But the ones sown on good ground are those who hear the word, welcome it, and produce a crop: 30, 60, and 100 times [what was sown]."
He also said to them, "Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket or under a bed? Isn't it to be put on a lampstand?
For nothing is concealed except to be revealed, and nothing hidden except to come to light.
If anyone has ears to hear, he should listen!"
Then He said to them, "Pay attention to what you hear. By the measure you use, it will be measured and added to you.
For to the one who has, it will be given, and from the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken away."
"The kingdom of God is like this," He said. "A man scatters seed on the ground;
he sleeps and rises-- night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows-- he doesn't know how.
The soil produces a crop by itself-- first the blade, then the head, and then the ripe grain on the head.
But as soon as the crop is ready, he sends for the sickle, because harvest has come."
And He said: "How can we illustrate the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use to describe it?
It's like a mustard seed that, when sown in the soil, is smaller than all the seeds on the ground.
And when sown, it comes up and grows taller than all the vegetables, and produces large branches, so that the birds of the sky can nest in its shade."
He would speak the word to them with many parables like these, as they were able to understand.
And He did not speak to them without a parable. Privately, however, He would explain everything to His own disciples.
On that day, when evening had come, He told them, "Let's cross over to the other side [of the lake]."
So they left the crowd and took Him along since He was [already] in the boat. And other boats were with Him.
A fierce windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking over the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped.
But He was in the stern, sleeping on the cushion. So they woke Him up and said to Him, "Teacher! Don't you care that we're going to die?"
He got up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Silence! Be still!" The wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
Then He said to them, "Why are you fearful? Do you still have no faith?"
And they were terrified and asked one another, "Who then is this? Even the wind and the sea obey Him!"
Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the region of the Gerasenes.
As soon as He got out of the boat, a man with an unclean spirit came out of the tombs and met Him.
He lived in the tombs. No one was able to restrain him any more-- even with chains--
because he often had been bound with shackles and chains, but had snapped off the chains and smashed the shackles. No one was strong enough to subdue him.
And always, night and day, he was crying out among the tombs and in the mountains and cutting himself with stones.
When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and knelt down before Him.
And he cried out with a loud voice, "What do You have to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You before God, don't torment me!"
For He had told him, "Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!"
"What is your name?" He asked him. "My name is Legion," he answered Him, "because we are many."
And he kept begging Him not to send them out of the region.
Now a large herd of pigs was there, feeding on the hillside.
The demons begged Him, "Send us to the pigs, so we may enter them."
And He gave them permission. Then the unclean spirits came out and entered the pigs, and the herd of about 2,000 rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned there.
The men who tended them ran off and reported it in the town and the countryside, and people went to see what had happened.
They came to Jesus and saw the man who had been demon-possessed by the legion, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid.
The eyewitnesses described to them what had happened to the demon-possessed man and [told] about the pigs.
Then they began to beg Him to leave their region.
As He was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed kept begging Him to be with Him.
But He would not let him; instead, He told him, "Go back home to your own people, and report to them how much the Lord has done for you and how He has had mercy on you."
So he went out and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and they were all amazed.
When Jesus had crossed over again by boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered around Him while He was by the sea.
One of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at His feet
and kept begging Him, "My little daughter is at death's door. Come and lay Your hands on her so she can get well and live."
So Jesus went with him, and a large crowd was following and pressing against Him.
A woman suffering from bleeding for 12 years
had endured much under many doctors. She had spent everything she had and was not helped at all. On the contrary, she became worse.
Having heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His robe.
For she said, "If I can just touch His robes, I'll be made well!"
Instantly her flow of blood ceased, and she sensed in her body that she was cured of her affliction.
At once Jesus realized in Himself that power had gone out from Him. He turned around in the crowd and said, "Who touched My robes?"
His disciples said to Him, "You see the crowd pressing against You, and You say, 'Who touched Me?'"
So He was looking around to see who had done this.
Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came with fear and trembling, fell down before Him, and told Him the whole truth.
"Daughter," He said to her, "your faith has made you well. Go in peace and be free from your affliction."
While He was still speaking, people came from the synagogue leader's house and said, "Your daughter is dead. Why bother the Teacher any more?"
But when Jesus overheard what was said, He told the synagogue leader, "Don't be afraid. Only believe."
He did not let anyone accompany Him except Peter, James, and John, James' brother.
They came to the leader's house, and He saw a commotion-- people weeping and wailing loudly.
He went in and said to them, "Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep."
They started laughing at Him, but He put them all outside. He took the child's father, mother, and those who were with Him, and entered the place where the child was.
Then He took the child by the hand and said to her, "Talitha koum!" (which is translated, "Little girl, I say to you, get up!").
Immediately the girl got up and began to walk. (She was 12 years old.) At this they were utterly astounded.
Then He gave them strict orders that no one should know about this and said that she should be given something to eat.
He went away from there and came to His hometown, and His disciples followed Him.
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 given to Him, and how are these miracles performed by His hands?
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.
Then Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown, among his relatives, and in his household."
So He was not able to do any miracles there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them.
And He was amazed at their unbelief. Now He was going around the villages in a circuit, teaching.
He summoned the Twelve and began to send them out in pairs and gave them authority over unclean spirits.
He instructed them to take nothing for the road except a walking stick: no bread, no traveling bag, no money in their belts.
They were to wear sandals, but not put on an extra shirt.
Then He said to them, "Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that place.
If any place does not welcome you and people refuse to listen to you, when you leave there, shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them."
So they went out and preached that people should repent.
And they were driving out many demons, anointing many sick people with oil, and healing.
King Herod heard of this, because Jesus' name had become well known. Some said, "John the Baptist has been raised from the dead, and that's why supernatural powers are at work in him."
But others said, "He's Elijah." Still others said, "He's a prophet-- like one of the prophets."
When Herod heard of it, he said, "John, the one I beheaded, has been raised!"
For Herod himself had given orders to arrest John and to chain him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, whom he had married.
John had been telling Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife!"
So Herodias held a grudge against him and wanted to kill him. But she could not,
because Herod was in awe of John and was protecting him, knowing he was a righteous and holy man. When Herod heard him he would be very disturbed, yet would hear him gladly.
Now an opportune time came on his birthday, when Herod gave a banquet for his nobles, military commanders, and the leading men of Galilee.
When Herodias' 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."
So he swore oaths to her: "Whatever you ask me I will give you, up to half my kingdom."
Then she went out and said to her mother, "What should I ask for?" "John the Baptist's head!" she said.
Immediately she hurried to the king and said, "I want you to give me John the Baptist's head on a platter-- right now!"
Though the king was deeply distressed, because of his oaths and the guests he did not want to refuse her.
The king immediately sent for an executioner and commanded him to bring John's head. So he went and beheaded him in prison,
brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl. Then the girl gave it to her mother.
When his disciples heard about it, they came and removed his corpse and placed it in a tomb.
The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to Him all that they had done and taught.
He said to them, "Come away by yourselves to a remote place and rest a while." For many people were coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.
So they went away in the boat by themselves to a remote place,
but many saw them leaving and recognized them. People ran there by land from all the towns and arrived ahead of them.
So as He stepped ashore, He saw a huge crowd and had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. Then He began to teach them many things.
When it was already late, His disciples approached Him and said, "This place is a wilderness, and it is already late!
Send them away, so they can go into the surrounding countryside and villages to buy themselves something to eat."
"You give them something to eat," He responded. They said to Him, "Should we go and buy 200 denarii worth of bread and give them something to eat?"
And He asked them, "How many loaves do you have? Go look." When they found out they said, "Five, and two fish."
Then He instructed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass.
So they sat down in ranks of hundreds and fifties.
Then 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.
Everyone ate and was filled.
Then they picked up 12 baskets full of pieces of bread and fish.
Now those who ate the loaves were 5,000 men.
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.
After He said good-bye to them, He went away to the mountain to pray.
When evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea, and He was alone on the land.
He saw them being battered as they rowed, because the wind was against them. Around three in the morning He came toward them walking on the sea and wanted to pass by them.
When they saw Him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost and cried out;
for they all saw Him and were terrified. Immediately He spoke with them and said, "Have courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."
Then He got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. They were completely astounded,
because they had not understood about the loaves. Instead, their hearts were hardened.
When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and beached the boat.
As they got out of the boat, people immediately recognized Him.
They hurried throughout that vicinity and began to carry the sick on stretchers to wherever they heard He was.
Wherever He would go, into villages, towns, or the country, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and begged Him that they might touch just the tassel of His robe. And everyone who touched it was made well.