Matthew 14 – The Head of John the Baptist – The Gospels

At that time Prince Herod heard of the fame of Jesus, 2 And said to his attendants: “This must be John the Baptist; he must be risen from the dead, and that is why these miraculous powers are active in him.” 3 For Herod had arrested John, put him in chains, and shut him up in prison to please Herodias, the wife of Herod’s brother Philip. 4 For John had said to him: ‘You have no right to be living with her.’ 5 Yet, though Herod wanted to put him to death, he was afraid of the people, because they looked on John as a prophet.

6 But, when Herod’s birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced before his guests, and so pleased Herod, 7 That he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. 8 Prompted by her mother, the girl said: ‘Give me here, on a dish, the head of John the Baptist.’ 9 The king was distressed at this; yet, on account of his oath and of the guests at his table, he ordered it to be given her. 10 He sent and beheaded John in the prison; 11 And his head was brought on a dish and given to the girl, and she took it to her mother. 12 Then John’s disciples came, and took the body away, and buried it; and went and told Jesus.

13 When Jesus heard of it, he retired privately in a boat to a lonely spot. The people, however, heard of his going, and followed him in crowds from the towns on foot. 14 On getting out of the boat, Jesus saw a great crowd, and his heart was moved at the sight of them; and he cured all the sick among them. 15 In the evening the disciples came up to him, and said: “ This is a lonely spot, and the day is now far advanced; send the crowds away, that they may go to the villages, and buy themselves food.” 16 But Jesus said: “They need not go away, it is for you to give them something to eat.”

17 “We have nothing here,” they said, “except five loaves and two fishes.” 18 “Bring them here to me,” was his reply. 19 Jesus ordered the people to take their seats on the grass; and, taking the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and said the blessing, and, after he had broken the loaves, gave them to his disciples; and they gave them to the crowds. 20 Everyone had sufficient to eat, and they picked up enough of the broken pieces that were left to fill twelve baskets. 21 The men who ate were about five thousand in number, without counting women and children.

22 Immediately afterwards Jesus made the disciples get into a boat and cross over in advance of him, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 After dismissing the crowds, he went up the hill by himself to pray; and, when evening fell, he was there alone. 24 The boat was by this time some miles from shore, laboring in the waves, for the wind was against her.

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25 Three hours after midnight, however, Jesus came towards the disciples, walking on the water. 26 But, when they saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. “It is a ghost,” they exclaimed, and cried out for fear. 27 But Jesus at once spoke to them. “Be of good cheer,” he said, “It is I; do not be afraid.”

28 “Master,” Peter exclaimed, “if it is you, tell me to come to you on the water.”:29 And Jesus said: “Come.” So Peter got down from the boat, and walked on the water, and went towards Jesus; 30 But, when he felt the wind, he was frightened, and, beginning to sink, cried out: “Master! Save me!” 31 Instantly Jesus stretched out his hand, and caught hold of him. “O ye of little faith!” he said, “Why did you falter?” 32 When they had got into the boat, the wind dropped. 33 But the men in the boat threw themselves on their faces before him, and said: “You are indeed God’s Son.”

34 When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret. 35 But the people of that place, recognizing Jesus, sent out into the whole country around, and brought to him all who were ill, 36 Begging him merely to let them touch the tassel of his cloak; and all who touched were made perfectly whole.


To read Chapter 19 of the Gospel of Matthew, please go to: Fish and Loaves.

Browse the entire Gospel of Matthew here: Gospel of Matthew.