1Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. 2When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed.
3“Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him, that he even does miracles! Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph,F14 Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.
4Jesus said to them, “Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor.” 5He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. 6And he was amazed at their lack of faith.
Jesus Sends Out the Twelve
7Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. Calling the Twelve to him, he sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evilF15 spirits.
8These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff–no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. 9Wear sandals but not an extra tunic. 10Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. 11And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave, as a testimony against them.”
12They went out and preached that people should repent. 13They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.
John the Baptist Beheaded
14King Herod heard about this, for Jesus’ name had become well known. Some were saying,F16 “John the Baptist has been raised from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.”
15Others said, “He is Elijah.”
And still others claimed, “He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of long ago.”
16But when Herod heard this, he said, “John, the man I beheaded, has been raised from the dead!”
17For 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.18For John had been saying to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”19So Herodias nursed a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But she was not able to, 20because Herod feared John and protected him, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man. When Herod heard John, he was greatly puzzledF17 ; yet he liked to listen to him.
21Finally the opportune time came. On his birthday Herod gave a banquet for his high officials and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee. 22When the daughter of Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests.
23The king said to the girl, “Ask me for anything you want, and I’ll give it to you.” And he promised her with an oath, “Whatever you ask I will give you, up to half my kingdom.”
24She went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask for?”
“The head of John the Baptist,” she answered.
25At 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 platter.”
26The king was greatly distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he did not want to refuse her. 27So he immediately sent an executioner with orders to bring John’s head. The man went, beheaded John in the prison, 28and brought back his head on a platter. He presented it to the girl, and she gave it to her mother. 29On hearing of this, John’s disciples came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.
30The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught.