Mark 6 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
Jesus Goes to His Hometown
6 Jesus left and went back to his hometown. His followers went with him. 2 On the Sabbath day Jesus taught in the synagogue, and many people heard him. They were amazed and said, “Where did this man get this teaching? How did he get such wisdom? Who gave it to him? And where did he get the power to do miracles? 3 Isn’t he just the carpenter we know—Mary’s son, the brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And don’t his sisters still live here in town?” So they had a problem accepting him.
4 Then Jesus said to them, “People everywhere give honor to a prophet, except in his own town, with his own people, or in his home.” 5 Jesus was not able to do any miracles there except the healing of some sick people by laying his hands on them. 6 He was surprised that the people there had no faith. Then he went to other villages in that area and taught.
Jesus Sends His Apostles on a Mission
7 Jesus called his twelve apostles together. He sent them out in groups of two and gave them power over evil spirits. 8 This is what he told them: “Take nothing for your trip except a stick for walking. Take no bread, no bag, and no money. 9 You can wear sandals, but don’t take extra clothes. 10 When you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. 11 If any town refuses to accept you or refuses to listen to you, then leave that town and shake the dust off your feet[a] as a warning to them.”
12 The apostles left and went to other places. They talked to the people and told them to change their hearts and lives. 13 They forced many demons out of people and put olive oil on[b] many who were sick and healed them.
Herod Thinks Jesus Is John the Baptizer
14 King Herod heard about Jesus, because Jesus was now famous. Some people said, “He is John the Baptizer. He must have risen from death, and that is why he can do these miracles.”
15 Other people said, “He is Elijah.”
And others said, “He is a prophet. He is like the prophets who lived long ago.”
16 Herod heard these things about Jesus. He said, “I killed John by cutting off his head. Now he has been raised from death!”
How John the Baptizer Was Killed
17 Herod himself had ordered his soldiers to arrest John and put him in prison. Herod did this to please his wife Herodias. She had been married to Herod’s brother Philip, but then Herod married her. 18 John told Herod, “It is not right for you to be married to your brother’s wife.” 19 So Herodias hated John. She wanted him dead, but she was not able to persuade Herod to kill him. 20 Herod was afraid to kill John, because he knew that he was a good and holy man. So he protected him. He liked listening to John, although what John said left him with so many questions.
21 Then the right time came for Herodias to cause John’s death. It happened on Herod’s birthday. Herod gave a dinner party for the most important government leaders, the commanders of his army, and the most important people in Galilee. 22 The daughter of Herodias came to the party and danced. When she danced, Herod and the people eating with him were very pleased.
So King Herod said to the girl, “I will give you anything you want.” 23 He promised her, “Anything you ask for I will give to you—even half of my kingdom.”
24 The girl went to her mother and asked, “What should I ask King Herod to give me?”
Her mother answered, “Ask for the head of John the Baptizer.”
25 So right then the girl went back in to the king. She said to him, “Please give me the head of John the Baptizer. Bring it to me now on a plate.”
26 King Herod was very sad, but he didn’t want to break the promise he had made to her in front of his guests. 27 So he sent a soldier to cut off John’s head and bring it to him. The soldier went and cut off John’s head in the prison. 28 He brought the head back on a plate and gave it to the girl, and the girl gave it to her mother. 29 John’s followers heard about what happened, so they came and got John’s body and put it in a tomb.
Jesus Feeds More Than 5000
30 The apostles Jesus had sent out came back to him. They gathered around him and told him about all they had done and taught. 31 Jesus and his followers were in a very busy place. There were so many people that he and his followers did not even have time to eat. He said to them, “Come with me. We will go to a quiet place to be alone. There we will get some rest.”
32 So Jesus and his followers went away alone. They went in a boat to a place where no one lived. 33 But many people saw them leave and knew who they were. So people from every town ran to the place where they were going and got there before Jesus. 34 As Jesus stepped out of the boat, he saw a large crowd waiting. He felt sorry for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd to care for them. So he taught the people many things.
35 It was now very late in the day. Jesus’ followers came to him and said, “No one lives around here, and it is already very late. 36 So send the people away. They need to go to the farms and towns around here to buy some food to eat.”
37 But Jesus answered, “You give them some food to eat.”
They said to Jesus, “We can’t buy enough bread to feed all these people. We would all have to work a month to earn enough to buy that much bread!”
38 Jesus asked them, “How many loaves of bread do you have now? Go and see.”
They counted their loaves of bread. They came to Jesus and said, “We have five loaves of bread and two fish.”
39 Then Jesus said to them, “Tell everyone to sit in groups on the green grass.” 40 So all the people sat in groups. There were about 50 or 100 people in each group.
41 Jesus took the five loaves and two fish. He looked up to the sky and thanked God for the food. Then he broke the bread into pieces, which he gave to his followers to distribute to the people. Then he divided the two fish among everyone there.
42 They all ate until they were full. 43 After they finished eating, the followers filled twelve baskets with the pieces of bread and fish that were left. 44 There were about 5000 men there who ate.
Jesus Walks on Water
45 Then Jesus told the followers to get into the boat. He told them to go to the other side of the lake to Bethsaida. He said he would come later. He stayed there to tell everyone they could go home. 46 After he said goodbye to them, he went up into the hills to pray.
47 That night, the boat was still in the middle of the lake. Jesus was alone on the land. 48 He saw the boat far away on the lake. And he saw the followers working hard to row the boat. The wind was blowing against them. Sometime between three and six o’clock in the morning, Jesus went out to the boat, walking on the water. He continued walking until he was almost past the boat. 49 But the followers saw Jesus walking on the water. They thought he was a ghost, and they started screaming. 50 It scared them all to see him. But he spoke to them and said, “Don’t worry! It’s me! Don’t be afraid.” 51 When he got into the boat with the followers, the wind stopped. The followers were completely amazed. 52 They could not believe what happened. It was like the miracle he did with the bread. They still didn’t understand what that meant.
Jesus Heals Many Sick People
53 Jesus and his followers went across the lake and came to shore at Gennesaret. They tied the boat there. 54 When they were out of the boat, the people there saw Jesus. They knew who he was, 55 so they ran to tell others throughout that area. They brought sick people on mats to every place Jesus went. 56 Jesus went into towns, cities, and farms around that area. And every place he went, the people brought sick people to the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch any part of his coat. And all those who touched him were healed.