ImmerseMessiah NLT - Page 349



13:53–14:17
M atthe w
337
When Jesus had finished telling these stories and illustrations, he left that
part of the country. He returned to Nazareth, his hometown. When he
taught there in the synagogue, everyone was amazed and said, “Where
does he get this wisdom and the power to do miracles?” Then they scoffed,
“He’s just the carpenter’s son, and we know Mary, his mother, and his
brothers—James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas. All his sisters live right here
among us. Where did he learn all these things?” And they were deeply
­offended and refused to believe in him.
Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his
own hometown and among his own family.” And so he did only a few miracles there because of their unbelief.
When Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee, heard about Jesus, he said to
his advisers, “This must be John the Baptist raised from the dead! That is
why he can do such miracles.”
For Herod had arrested and imprisoned John as a favor to his wife Herodias (the former wife of Herod’s brother Philip). John had been telling
Herod, “It is against God’s law for you to marry her.” Herod wanted to kill
John, but he was afraid of a riot, because all the people believed John was
a prophet.
But at a birthday party for Herod, Herodias’s daughter performed a
dance that greatly pleased him, so he promised with a vow to give her
anything she wanted. At her mother’s urging, the girl said, “I want the head
of John the Baptist on a tray!” Then the king regretted what he had said;
but because of the vow he had made in front of his guests, he issued the
necessary orders. So John was beheaded in the prison, and his head was
brought on a tray and given to the girl, who took it to her mother. Later,
John’s disciples came for his body and buried it. Then they went and told
Jesus what had happened.
As soon as Jesus heard the news, he left in a boat to a remote area to be
alone. But the crowds heard where he was headed and followed on foot
from many towns. Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat,
and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
That evening the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place,
and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go to the
villages and buy food for themselves.”
But Jesus said, “That isn’t necessary—you feed them.”
“But we have only five loaves of bread and two fish!” they answered.





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