Matthew 14 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
Herod Thinks Jesus Is John the Baptizer
14 About that time, Herod, the ruler of Galilee, heard what the people were saying about Jesus. 2 So he said to his servants, “This man is really John the Baptizer. He must have risen from death, and that is why he can do these miracles.”
How John the Baptizer Was Killed
3 Before this time, Herod had arrested John. He had him chained and put in prison. He arrested John because of Herodias, the wife of Philip, Herod’s brother. 4 John had told him, “It is not right for you to be married to Herodias.” 5 Herod wanted to kill him, but he was afraid of the people. They believed that John was a prophet.
6 On Herod’s birthday, the daughter of Herodias danced for him and his group. Herod was very pleased with her. 7 So he promised that he would give her anything she wanted. 8 Herodias told her daughter what to ask for. So she said to Herod, “Give me the head of John the Baptizer here on this plate.”
9 King Herod was very sad. But he had promised to give the daughter anything she wanted. And the people eating with Herod had heard his promise. So he ordered what she asked to be done. 10 He sent men to the prison, where they cut off John’s head. 11 And the men brought John’s head on a plate and gave it to the girl. Then she took the head to her mother, Herodias. 12 John’s followers came and got his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus what happened.
Jesus Feeds More Than 5000
13 When Jesus heard what happened to John, he left in a boat. He went alone to a place where no one lived. But the people heard that Jesus had left. So they left their towns and followed him. They went by land to the same place he went. 14 When Jesus got out of the boat, he saw a large crowd of people. He felt sorry for them, and he healed the ones who were sick.
15 Late that afternoon, the followers came to Jesus and said, “No one lives in this place. And it is already late. Send the people away so they can go to the towns and buy food for themselves.”
16 Jesus said, “The people don’t need to go away. You give them some food to eat.”
17 The followers answered, “But we have only five loaves of bread and two fish.”
18 Jesus said, “Bring the bread and the fish to me.” 19 Then he told the people to sit down on the grass. He took the five loaves of bread and the two fish. He looked into the sky and thanked God for the food. Then he broke the bread into pieces, which he gave to the followers, and they gave the food to the people. 20 Everyone ate until they were full. When they finished eating, the followers filled twelve baskets with the pieces of food that were not eaten. 21 There were about 5000 men there who ate. There were also women and children who ate.
Jesus Walks on Water
22 Then Jesus made the followers get into the boat. He told them to go to the other side of the lake. He said he would come later. He stayed there to tell everyone they could go home. 23 After Jesus said goodbye to the people, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. It was late, and he was there alone. 24 By this time the boat was already a long way from shore. Since the wind was blowing against it, the boat was having trouble because of the waves.
25 Between three and six o’clock in the morning, Jesus’ followers were still in the boat. Jesus came to them. He was walking on the water. 26 When they saw him walking on the water, it scared them. “It’s a ghost!” they said, screaming in fear.
27 But Jesus quickly spoke to them. He said, “Don’t worry! It’s me! Don’t be afraid.”
28 Peter said, “Lord, if that is really you, tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 Jesus said, “Come, Peter.”
Then Peter left the boat and walked on the water to Jesus. 30 But while Peter was walking on the water, he saw the wind and the waves. He was afraid and began sinking into the water. He shouted, “Lord, save me!”
31 Then Jesus caught Peter with his hand. He said, “Your faith is small. Why did you doubt?”
32 After Peter and Jesus were in the boat, the wind stopped. 33 Then the followers in the boat worshiped Jesus and said, “You really are the Son of God.”
Jesus Heals Many Sick People
34 After they crossed the lake, they came to the shore at Gennesaret. 35 Some men there saw Jesus and knew who he was. So they sent word to the other people throughout that area that Jesus had come. The people brought all their sick people to him. 36 They begged Jesus to let them only touch the edge of his coat to be healed. And all the sick people who touched his coat were healed.