Matthew 14
Contemporary English Version

The Death of John the Baptist

(Mark 6.14-29; Luke 9.7-9)

1About this time Herod the ruler+ heard the news about Jesus 2and told his officials, “This is John the Baptist! He has come back from death, and that's why he has the power to work these miracles.”

3-4 Herod had earlier arrested John and had him chained and put in prison. He did this because John had told him, “It isn't right for you to take Herodias, the wife of your brother Philip.” 5Herod wanted to kill John. But the people thought John was a prophet, and Herod was afraid of what they might do.

6When Herod's birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced for the guests. She pleased Herod 7so much he swore to give her whatever she wanted. 8But the girl's mother told her to say, “Here on a serving plate I want the head of John the Baptist!”

9Herod was sorry for what he had said. But he did not want to break the promise he had made in front of his guests. So he ordered a guard 10to go to the prison and cut off John's head. 11It was taken on a serving plate to the girl, and she gave it to her mother. 12John's followers took his body and buried it. Then they told Jesus what had happened.

Jesus Feeds Five Thousand

(Mark 6.30-44; Luke 9.10-17; John 6.1-14)

13After Jesus heard about John, he crossed Lake Galilee+ to go to some place where he could be alone. But the crowds found out and followed him on foot from the towns. 14When Jesus got out of the boat, he saw the large crowd. He felt sorry for them and healed everyone who was sick.

15That evening the disciples came to Jesus and said, “This place is like a desert, and it's already late. Let the crowds leave, so they can go to the villages and buy some food.”

16Jesus replied, “They don't have to leave. Why don't you give them something to eat?”

17But they said, “We have only five small loaves of bread+ and two fish.” 18Jesus asked his disciples to bring the food to him, 19and he told the crowd to sit down on the grass. Jesus took the five loaves and the two fish. He looked up toward heaven and blessed the food. Then he broke the bread and handed it to his disciples, and they gave it to the people.

20After everyone had eaten all they wanted, Jesus' disciples picked up twelve large baskets of leftovers.

21There were about 5,000 men who ate, not counting the women and children.

Jesus Walks on the Water

(Mark 6.45-52; John 6.15-21)

22At once, Jesus made his disciples get into a boat and start back across the lake.+ But he stayed until he had sent the crowds away. 23Then he went up on a mountain where he could be alone and pray. Later in the evening, he was still there.

24By this time the boat was a long way from the shore. It was going against the wind and was being tossed around by the waves. 25A little while before morning, Jesus came walking on the water toward his disciples. 26When they saw him, they thought he was a ghost. They were terrified and started screaming.

27At once, Jesus said to them, “Don't worry! I am Jesus. Don't be afraid.”

28Peter replied, “Lord, if it really is you, tell me to come to you on the water.”

29“Come on!” Jesus said. Peter then got out of the boat and started walking on the water toward him.

30But when Peter saw how strong the wind was, he was afraid and started sinking. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.

31At once, Jesus reached out his hand. He helped Peter up and said, “You surely don't have much faith. Why do you doubt?”

32When Jesus and Peter got into the boat, the wind died down. 33The men in the boat worshiped Jesus and said, “You really are the Son of God!”

Jesus Heals Sick People in Gennesaret

(Mark 6.53-56)

34Jesus and his disciples crossed the lake and came to shore near the town of Gennesaret. 35The people found out he was there, and they sent word to everyone who lived in this part of the country. So they brought all the sick people to Jesus. 36They begged him just to let them touch his clothes, and everyone who did was healed.


14.1 Herod the ruler: Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Great (see 2.1).
14.13 crossed Lake Galilee: To the east side.
14.17 small loaves of bread: These would have been flat and round or in the shape of a bun.
14.22 back across the lake: To the west side.

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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