New International Version - UK
7 Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits.
8 These were his instructions: ‘Take nothing for the journey except a staff – no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. 9 Wear sandals but not an extra shirt. 10 Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. 11 And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.’
12 They went out and preached that people should repent. 13 They drove out many demons and anointed with oil many people who were ill and healed them.
John the Baptist beheaded
14 King Herod heard about this, for Jesus’ name had become well known. Some were saying,[a] ‘John the Baptist has been raised from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.’
15 Others said, ‘He is Elijah.’
And still others claimed, ‘He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of long ago.’
16 But when Herod heard this, he said, ‘John, whom I beheaded, has been raised from the dead!’
17 For Herod himself had given orders to have John arrested, and he had him bound and put in prison. He did this because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, whom he had married. 18 For John had been saying to Herod, ‘It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.’ 19 So Herodias nursed a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But she was not able to, 20 because Herod feared John and protected him, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man. When Herod heard John, he was greatly puzzled[b]; yet he liked to listen to him.
21 Finally the opportune time came. On his birthday Herod gave a banquet for his high officials and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee. 22 When the daughter of[c] Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests.
The king said to the girl, ‘Ask me for anything you want, and I’ll give it to you.’ 23 And he promised her with an oath, ‘Whatever you ask I will give you, up to half my kingdom.’
24 She went out and said to her mother, ‘What shall I ask for?’
‘The head of John the Baptist,’ she answered.
25 At once the girl hurried in to the king with the request: ‘I want you to give me right now the head of John the Baptist on a dish.’
26 The king was greatly distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he did not want to refuse her. 27 So he immediately sent an executioner with orders to bring John’s head. The man went, beheaded John in the prison, 28 and brought back his head on a dish. He presented it to the girl, and she gave it to her mother. 29 On hearing of this, John’s disciples came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.
Jesus feeds the five thousand
30 The apostles gathered round Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. 31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’
32 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. 33 But many who saw them leaving recognised them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. 34 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.
35 By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. ‘This is a remote place,’ they said, ‘and it’s already very late. 36 Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.’
37 But he answered, ‘You give them something to eat.’
They said to him, ‘That would take more than half a year’s wages[d]! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?’Read full chapter