Pastor to Pastor: 4 Next steps to follow when a fellow pastor has failed.

My heart is broken this morning. Sitting in a pool of tears in a coffee-house this morning, I’m sure I must be concerning the baristas and customers looking my way.  

All morning, I’ve been fine, but sitting down and reading articles about the resignation of a favorite pastor of mine has brought be to a very humbling place.  The news came to me yesterday after a great morning at Kfirst.

Perhaps the shock of it has now settled in after 24 hours of processing it.
Perhaps my own humanity gets realized in these moments.
Perhaps the love for the church I serve is so immense that I’m examining EVERY area of my life today as to make sure I’m reflecting Christ and His Kingdom.

(A boy just walked by me looking at me weird…seriously, I was fine when I left the house.)

So when I struggle to fully grasp or comprehend something, I journal and I blog. It’s my way to work out my thoughts. Why? Because if you’ve been living under a rock, you don’t know that rawness has gotten the best of people on social media and caused more havoc by escalating situations more than needed. (I’d highly recommend a journal as to protect you and your friends from thoughts and emotions yet to be hashed out.)

This hurting pastor doesn’t know me. We’ve tweeted back and forth a few times but that doesn’t make us BFFs. How God has used him in the Kingdom has inspired me and the church he leads has (and continues to ) challenge me. I will not use his name nor refer to the church out of respect for both of them…

But my brokenness isn’t exclusive to just his resignation. It happens with EVERY situation like this. I love pastors. I’ve been a broken pastor before. I am here because of men and women who wouldn’t abandon me in my fracture but spoken into my wounded heart and mind (Luke 10:33-37).

What also breaks my heart is knowing the amount of “carnivorous christians” that will smell blood in the water. There are people who crave these moments. They whore themselves to the attention they get from stirring the pot so that they can promote their self-righteousness. They claim to be about the Kingdom but only care about building an empire that revolves around the box they have placed Christ and His Word into. Instead of rallying to the broken, instead of humbling ourselves and checking our own hearts, they abandon and even attack the hurting. I can sit and point the finger at them, but that tendency lies in all of us. So I say to US ALL…

Brothers and Sisters, this should not be (James 3:10).

So, in blog style, I’ve sat down and begin to pen out next steps for me.  

What is a minister’s response when a fellow minister has failed?

1 – Rally to the broken. The enemy works in isolation; God works in community. We need to be quicker to sit in the dirt with those who are broken rather than stand around ready to hurl rocks (John 8:1-11). We need more advocates in the Kingdom instead of accusers. I may not have a personal relationship with this pastor (or others), but I doesn’t stop me from responding to their pain.  Which brings me to #2…

2 – Pray for the broken. There is a fractured minister. He/she has a hurting marriage and family. There is a hurting congregation. You don’t have to know the details to pray. Don’t allow the desire for “the dirt” be deeper than the desire to pray. Let the Spirit of God pray through you. Let Him give you the words to say. Be obedient to pray when He prompts you.

3 – Stop the attacks. Don’t facilitate infection but be a source of healing. The Good Samaritan had the perfect response of “pouring on oil and wine.” Oil was the soothing agent to remove pain. Wine was the antiseptic to stop further infection. Let your response do both.

4 – Stay humble and learn. These moments that should bring us to a place of humility. They remind us that none of us are exempt from temptation. The Bible gives so many examples of men and women who failed.  And for a majority of them (if not all), it was in a place of isolation, hunger, and/or exhaustion. To every minister of the Gospel (this is a message I’d like to preach to pastors):

  • Have accountability. I love my board. (I don’t always do well communicating how much I value my present and past board members for their wisdom and insight. Despite my demeanor, deep down they are blessed and wise men and women of God and I am very thankful for them).  BUT you desperately need ministers who are IN the trenches and those who WERE in the trenches. Have the presence of both Paul (mentors) and Barnabas (peers) in your life who have permission to ask or inquire of ANYTHING in your life/marriage/family.
  • Don’t stop being teachable. Learn from others regardless of age, denomination, or size of their ministry.
  • Guard your heart against competition; keep the critical attitude at bay.
  • Don’t spread gossip in the name of prayer requests.
  • Keep yourself spiritually fed. Spend time in the Word. Have personal worship time. Listen to podcasts.
  • Get rest. Have good sleep habits. Date your spouse. Have time with your children. Vacation without guilt. Rest may be the most fruitful thing you can do for your ministry.

Would you spend some of your day today in prayer over fellow ministers? If you are struggling WITH temptation and/or struggling IN temptation, would you reach out to someone? If you have no one, I’d be glad to pray for ya. Hit me up in a message or DM on Facebook or Twitter. Don’t feel like you have to be alone.

We must be about the Kingdom. And it won’t happen if we are devouring our own. It’ll happen when we bind the broken and heal the hurting. And those we lead, will follow our example.

Love you all.

 

Thanks for letting me ramble…

BTW: This was the song I’ve been listening to during my blogging today: 

Pants On Fire: 5 Steps to dealing with lying in your marriage!

Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment. Proverbs 12:19

Marriage is a covenant.  A promise.

In our wedding vows, trust is both explicit or implicit. It permeates the commitment we make to our spouse so that we can start off from the foundation of trust both in Christ and in our spouse.  

Trust is one of the most essential elements to an intimate relationship. And without it, we are sentencing our marriage to a future of frustration and fracture. It doesn’t mean trust is not restorable.  A marriage can recover from broken trust AND survive for the long-haul.  But it takes patience and hard work from both spouses do see that healing take place. 

Of all of the components that can fracture trust, lying may be at the top of the list.

People lie for numbers of reasons.  Insecurity. Pride. Anger. But to boil it down, people lie to protect themselves.  Many times, it begins when someone is experiencing shame however trivial it may be. Why? It seems easier to lie than it is to face confrontation. But that’s where lying becomes like a drug.  Lying sedates the moment while making you a slave to its agenda: Total destruction.

 

Why do people lie?

1 – Because there’s something to hide. People lie to protect interests.  There seems to be little care about other people’s feelings in the matter. The actions are selfish and destructive.  Where scripture challenges us to “walk in the light.” Lying wants to remain in the shadows.

2 – Because people feel they can—it works for them. Liars are convinced they’ll get away with their lie and never get caught. So the fib continues until they discover that this is not working for them and a new lie must be spun.  You end up in a prison of falsehood with an identity you cannot live up to and bondage you cannot escape from. It’s why Proverbs 19:5 says, “ he who breathes out lies will not escape.”

3 – Because people believe they have a right to lie.  “I’m doing this for the good of my marriage!”  People will use lying as if it’s the only way to bring health. But what they’re really doing is utilizing lying to manipulate the situation bring their intended results. They’re prayer has gone from “thy will be done” to “my will be done.”

4 – Because it makes a person “look better.” It a form of pride. Lying takes control of the narrative so that it doesn’t center around what God desires but what he/she desires.  It ignores Matthew 6:33 so that I seek “me” first and add God later.

5 – Because habitual lying has developed serious character problems. Lying sears the conscience. The more you indulge in it, the more apt you are to listen to your lie than the leading of the Holy Spirit.  Lying desensitizes our spirit so that our character takes on the falsehood of our facade instead of the image of Christ.

“What do I do if I find out my spouse is lying (regardless of how big or small it is)?” 

1 – Pray and seek wisdom.  Seek the Lord’s help.  Get wisdom from a trusted counselor (not necessarily a friend/friends).  

2 – Bring what is in darkness into the light. Recognize the pain involved.  Removing a splinter doesn’t feel good. But you know, at some point, it has to come out.  And the longer you wait, the more pain and infection will be endured.  I can’t say confronting lying will “feel” good. In fact, the moments may feel like they’re worse for dealing with it instead of turning a blind eye to it. But facilitating something that is false only breads emptiness, hurt, and separation.

(Side Note: if you are trying to justify letting your spouse continue in their lie, that is a huge red flag that something has to be dealt with.)

3 – Walk in forgiveness.  Forgiveness is the response to other’s faults in proportion to how Christ responds to us.  Forgiveness is not the same as trust or restoration. Forgiveness is the road that leads to trust and restoration.

4 – Create expectations.  Draw the line on lying. I’m not talking about ultimatums.  I’m talking about developing a marriage that doesn’t tolerate lying on ANY level. Healthy expectations set the bedrock of trust that will enable to see your spouse and marriage restored.

5 – Celebrate progress. The lying has done enough breaking down of your spouse.  Build up and encourage your him/her. You can’t expect perfection but, with healthy and attainable expectations, you can celebrate steps forward through the process.  Be a coach instead of a drill sergeant.  

Our beginning scripture says it all:

Having lips that speak truth will have an enduring effect upon your marriage.

Pursue truth together. Embrace truth as one.  And, together, stand in truth and watch God do amazing things in you and through you.

Thanks for letting me ramble…

 

Broken Trust: 8 Ways to rebuild trust back into your marriage.

He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds Psalm 147:3

Trust is a necessary element and is the foundation of every healthy relationship. In fact, trust is the security that makes intimacy possible in marriage. Like an organism, it must be nurtured and not ignored. My dad taught me years ago.  

“Trust is like fine china; it’s beautiful to have but it can be broken quickly.  And to fix it, it takes a lot of time, effort, and patience to put it back together.”

That’s stuck with me for years.  I don’t know any other accurate way to describe the value and fragility of trust.

I’ve never met a relationship that hasn’t encountered difficulties with trust.  I would even argue that most difficulties in relationships stem directly from a breach of trust.  I’m not saying everyone has had devastating circumstances, but we all have had moments where trust, on some level, has been compromised.

Marriage requires strong trust.  So I’m giving you a list that may give you a few ways to build it (or rebuild it).

1 – Trust does not equal forgiveness. Forgiveness and trust are two different things. When you’ve been wronged, you should give forgiveness instantly (which is “Grace”), but you should build your trust slowly. Forgiveness by it’s very nature cannot be earned; it can only be given. Therefore, we forgive the way God forgives us: instantly. Trust by it’s very nature cannot be given; it can only be earned…built. For that, it takes time and effort (reference the opening illustration about the cup). Forgiveness has to come first and then grace can pave the way to restoration and renewed trust.

2 – Stop dancing around the subject.  Be open and honest. Take responsibility.  “The devil made me do it doesn’t work.” Healthy steps forward begins with complete and utter transparency. The offender must own his or her sin without any “yeah-buts.” It’s not okay to say, “I’m sorry I hurt you and let you down, but . . . ” It’s never okay to rationalize or justify sin. Ever. The only way to rebuild trust is to take full responsibility for our actions. Period. It’s also critical for the offended person to do some self-assessment as well. Broken trust is rarely 100% the other person’s fault.

3 – Humility is king.  We love to cover up the embarrassment of our faults.  Don’t be defensive, righteous, or casual about the problem. It’s nothing more than a smoke screen trying to distract away from what needs to be dealt with. There must be a sincere heart as well as honest effort to work out the issues.  If you are the one who is at fault, the more defensive/righteous/casual you are, the less you are able to hear what your spouse has to say, and the worse their hurt will get.

4 – Don’t obsess.  Whether you were wronged or you were the perpetrator, take steps forward by letting go of the past. When you obsess over each insult, each act, each thing done wrong – you are not giving yourself time to heal from it. You need to heal in order to begin to trust again.  If you’re hurt by your spouse’s actions, work on releasing and moving forward.  Living in the past continues to open up the wound.  If you’re the one who did the hurting, stop fixating on your fault.  If God has forgiven you and your spouse has forgiven you, then you need to forgive YOU.

5 – Accountability; Be an open book. That means open your cell phone, calendar, email, and social media to your spouse. (Free Marriage Tip: Anytime you are feeling the need to hide something from your spouse should be a red flag…unless it’s a surprise birthday gift.) Accountability is usually the hardest part. Why? People feel entitled to privacy. The problem is that smacks against the “oneness” that marriage is called to operate in.  Be willing to temporarily give up some freedoms.  At this point, you will need to take a moment and ask yourself what is really important: your relationship or your privacy? It really comes down to that.

6 – Patience and hard work.  Time doesn’t heal everything but it applies to every part of the healing process.  Just as you can’t make a wound on your arm heal, you can’t make the heart heal overnight.  A gift doesn’t make the hurt go away. Sex doesn’t make the problem disappear.  You need a patience heart, listening ears, and intentional and consistent actions that will aid in the rebuilding of trust.   Set some goals.  Work on them together.  Review the results and reward the efforts (not the results).  

7 – Practice the three As daily: Affection, Attention and Appreciation. Communicate with words and actions to your partner how much you love and appreciate them in big and small ways every day.  Speak in their love languages and help them understand you are desiring health and healing.  If you are the offended, your spouse feels like a failure and you do NOT want to keep them there.  If you are the offender, make sure you stay engaged with your spouse.  Let them know you are a trust-builder more than a trust-breaker.

8 – Get some help.  Don’t be afraid to seek out counseling with a trusted advisor whether it’s a marriage counselor or a pastor.  Even though it’s easy to get help from a friend, you need to find someone who is non-partial and as some wisdom to speak some Godly wisdom into your marriage.  Make sure the help is for the both of you.  (Another marriage tip:  avoid involving other family members because it can exacerbate the situation.)

I return to our opening scripture, 

He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds Psalm 147:3

I believe everything we do in life should model who God is. He is the healer of brokenness.  He doesn’t leave us in a fractured state.  And just as God moves toward us in that manner, we should model that in every area of our life…ESPECIALLY our marriage.

Be a rebuilder of trust. Bind up the brokenness in your marriage.

Be known as a healer…just like our savior is.  

Thanks for letting me ramble…

Pain is Our Common Denominator: 5 things I want to share with you about pain

Do you feel pain? Have you ever been in agony? From stubbing your toe in the middle of the night to having your heart-broken by someone, it seems we all have experienced elements of pain. The rare medical condition of CIP (Congenital Insensitivity to Pain) exists.  It’s one of many physical statuses in which a person cannot feel (and has never felt) physical pain.  Some would see CIP as an absolute blessing.  I think, when playing football, how much more courage I’d have if pain was never an issue.  It’d change the way we drive.  Think of the boldness people would have in public knowing that there’s nothing that others could do that would inflict pain.  But for even those with CIP, I’d say there are two observations: 

  1. Just because there’s an absence of pain, doesn’t mean there is no damage.   
  2. No physical pain doesn’t make you immune from pain (mentally and emotionally). 

Pain is the common denominator we all share. No matter what the pain is, we all know what pain feels like.  But we need to realize that people feel pain differently. I know people who have physical fortitude to push through fatigue and physical discomfort but are emotionally brittle. Yet, I’ve sat in hospital rooms of individuals (like my grandmother) who, physically were very fragile, but strongholds of emotional stability.  No matter how strong you are (emotional, physical, mental, spiritual), there is a level of pain and a type of pain you are, most likely, susceptible to. 

Pain is in our humanity and there’s 5 things I want to share with you about pain:

1. Pain can be a gift.  I can’t say that it’s a gift I’m always thankful for. I’m not a masochist…I don’t enjoy pain.  But to step back for a moment and think about it. Pain causes us to stop and pause.  It tells us to proceed cautiously or to retreat quickly.  Its pangs grants us the favor, yes favor, of aches and anguish to help provide dividing lines of healthy and unhealthy living.  When we feel the pain of a broken relationship, our shredded heart reminds us how caring we are and how much we were built for relationships.  Our brokenness guides us for something more that what we are presently tasting.  If you’ve experienced pain caused by someone else, the pangs are there to let us know that the treatment you received isn’t healthy and, therefore, shouldn’t be tolerated or condoned. For those who have CIP, they struggle with continuing to injure themselves because there isn’t the sensation of pain to warn/help them through damage that’s happening to their body.  Without pain, not only would we demolish most relationships, we would destroy ourselves. As much as it hurts, pain can be a blessing.

2. Pain helps us sympathize and empathize.  Both empathy and sympathy are feelings concerning other people. Sympathy is literally means “feeling with.” Sympathy understands, exactly, the pain someone is dealing with because of your previous pain. Empathy, by contrast, is literally “feeling into.”  Empathy, helps us understand someone’s pain by “stepping in their shoes” and using your previous pain to be a reference point.  It’s the ability to project one’s personality into another person and more fully understand that person.   It’s through sympathy AND empathy we can help walk through difficult times with people and lead them to a place of healing.  Look at what you’ve been through.  Your story can trail-blaze hope for someone in turmoil. 

3. Pain doesn’t equate to gain. Some people think pain is necessary.  There are two types of them.  The first are those only happy when they are miserable.  It’s their identity.  They feed off of the drama and/or drawing others into their little narrative of their chaos.  The other are those that chase pain because they think they deserve it.  They invite it and see it as what they deserve for their poor choices.  For some reason, I’ve dealt with so many Christians who live in both of these camps. In church, reading the Scriptures, or during times of prayer, if he/she doesn’t feel “Godly sorrow,” then it wasn’t a productive or spiritual time. They forget that Christ bore our pain/shame/guilt upon the cross.  They need not bear it anymore.    Let me help, “Godly sorrow” is conviction that leads to repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10).  The pain of guilt is designed to keep you where you are at.  Chase “Godly sorrow” and run from guilt.  Only one will relieve pain.  The other will keep you in it. 

4. Christ is close to us in our pain.  One of my favorite scriptures of all time is Psalm 34:18

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

To understand the heart of who God is, you need to see that while we were living in the pain of our iniquity…
…while we were incapable of doing anything about our condition
…when we couldn’t get to God
…he came close to us.  

Isaiah 53:3-5 He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.

Christ can not just identify with our pain, he is close to us in our pain.  He went through agony on every level and understands our pain.  As much as he was abandoned in his darkest of nights, his promise to us, especially in our pain, is that he would never leave us or forsake us.  Our hurt doesn’t deter Jesus away from us. He is moved by our fractures and brokeness and he draws close to us to heal us. 

5. Our pain doesn’t have to be wasted.  Every experience is opportunity.  Every set-back can be a growth point for the future.  I remember when my daughter broke her arm at school, the doctor told me that the break, if it heals correctly, can heal stronger than it was before the break.  Don’t let your pain get wasted.  Don’t live in the darkness of your hurt.  As someone who deals with depression, it’s easy to indulge in your pain and let it be the identity you wear.  Your pain is an opportunity to let the glory of God heal you and shine brightly through your situation. John 11:4 says in The Message, 

“This sickness is not fatal. It will become an occasion to show God’s glory by glorifying God’s Son.”

We need to stop letting our pain become the final outcome.  If we’ll let Christ come into our hurt, he’ll bring us healing.  And he’ll utilize that pain, which was meant to poison and destroy our lives, be the antidote for someone else’s pain.  Every fracture is an opportunity to show the glory of God.

I can’t explain every pain we go through.  I still look back at painful moments and cannot wrap my brain around why things happened.  But it’s in the midst of my pain where I recognized who Jesus was.  He is “Immanuel: God with me (us).”  

He understood because he had been there.
He helps because he is there.
He heals because that’s who he is.  

I leave you with the scripture that spoke into one of the most painful moments of my life. 

Isaiah 43:1-2 “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you

Thanks for letting me ramble…

 

Frozen Tears: Dealing with loss during the holidays!

It’s been only a few days…

Christmas is the day after tomorrow, yet, with grandma not here, it doesn’t feel like the holiday is close at all.

The grieving process is different with Grandma Price.  The timing of finding out about her cancer…the quickness of her departure….the approaching of the holiday season…

I find myself…
…not broken down
…not frantic
…not consumed in emotion.

I’m, well, “reflective.”

It’s the only word I know to use right now.  It is the only adequate word that can describe my state of spirit.  I can’t say her death has dampened the holidays.  I think it’s given much more perspective than ever.  So, with a couple hours to write, I thought I’d ramble a bit before the funeral.

5 thoughts from the past few days…

1 – Allow people to grieve.  Grief is a very natural and perfectly acceptable thing for us as humans to feel. Eugene Peterson said,

“We don’t become more spiritual by being less human.”

Not sure why people are against the process of grief. Grieving isn’t a lack of faith in Jesus.  It’s the expression of sting that death leaves upon our flesh.  Grieving may include tears.  It may not.  What you need to do to process your grief may not be the same as other people.  It doesn’t mean it’s wrong (or right for that matter). As long as it’s not destructive/harmful, let people grieve the way they need to.

My grief over Grandma Price is different from what I went through with my other grandparents.  I don’t understand why it’s different.  I had moments of tears shed in private.  But, publicly, the emotions have been at peace.  My family, as individuals, are responding differently.  None of the responses are wrong. They’re different.  And that’s okay.

2 – Grief should be a place to visit and not to live. The death of my grandmother should not and cannot be allowed to rob me of the life I have left.  There is a season for everything, Within Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, we are told,

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die

I miss hearing the loud voice of Grandma speaking over the other family members because she couldn’t hear to well.  I’ll miss seeing her fall asleep in front of the TV.  But grief is not a place for me to stay.  It’s a season I must go through.  It’s a season that, in the world, is inevitable. But the promise we have in Christ is there is joy on the other side.  (Psalm 30:1-5).

3 – There are no magic words to make grief disappear.  I understand the scriptures.  I’ve studied them, preached them, counseled with them, and encouraged people with them.  They are a comfort in the midst of grief…but they don’t HIDE the grief.  The scriptures give me PERSPECTIVE through the grief.

God’s Word is more reliable than what my feelings. It gives me the vision I need to have when my emotions/feelings are everywhere.  I lean on the scriptures to help align my heart and mind with the promise of His presence.  Grief is the result of brokenness.  God is never so close to us as when we are in the place of brokenness (Psalm 34:18; Matthew 5:4).

4 – Life is short…embrace people.  Life is too brief to live in bitterness and anger.  I’ve heard it said,

“Bitterness is a like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”

Drama is stupid.  I won’t play that game. Lingering on old issues, makes you, well, old.  Bitterness takes years off of your life and harden’s your heart.  It wears on your soul.  I’m convinced one of the greatest unsaid epidemics that is killing individuals, let alone families, is unforgiveness.  It’s time to move on and let go.  I’m thankful for the amazing wife, children, and family that has been a tremendous source of encouragement and strength (not just to me but to others).  I’ve seen family members step up during this difficult season and go above and beyond to be there for grandma.  They’re an amazing reminder: embrace people, shun the drama.

5 – The presence of Christ cannot be underestimated and/or replaced.  Life hurts.  Sometimes it just sucks. But he is Emmanuel, God WITH us. As stated on Sunday, he is not…

…God someday with us
…God sometimes with us
…God hopefully with us

His is WITH us.  Never abandoned.  Never alone.  I have moments of not sensing His presence and not hearing His voice. But those are not sufficient proofs that I have ever been alone.  Peace is recognizing the presence of God is with me regardless of what I feel or what I sense.  My joy isn’t built on the fault-line of my feelings.  It stable on the rock-solid foundation of who He is.

This Jesus is who Grandma Price trusted in.  This is who I’ve given my life to.  And He is the one who will lead us through and lead us forward.  Today I head into a service to honor her. But, even more importantly, I move forward into a life that honors the savior that she and I both live for.

I love you grandma.

Thanks for letting me ramble…

2 Minute Devo Series: Book of Matthew Day 15

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Welcome to our 2 Minute Devos.  This month we’re going through the Book of Matthew.  Take the time to read through the passage of the day and listen to the 2 Minute Devo. 

Matthew 14

English Standard Version (ESV)

The Death of John the Baptist

14 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard about the fame of Jesus, and he said to his servants,“This is John the Baptist. He has been raised from the dead; that is why these miraculous powers are at work in him.” For Herod had seized John and bound him and put him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife,[a] because John had been saying to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.” And though he wanted to put him to death, he feared the people, because they held him to be a prophet. But when Herod’s birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced before the company and pleased Herod, so that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask. Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me the head of John the Baptist here on a platter.” And the king was sorry, but because of his oaths and his guests he commanded it to be given. 10 He sent and had John beheaded in the prison, 11 and his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother. 12 And his disciples came and took the body and buried it, and they went and told Jesus.

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

13 Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick. 15 Now when it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” 16 But Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” 17 They said to him, “We have only five loaves here and two fish.” 18 And he said, “Bring them here to me.” 19 Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 20 And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. 21 And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

Jesus Walks on the Water

22 Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 but the boat by this time was a long way[b] from the land,[c] beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them.25 And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. 26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”

28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind,[d] he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.”31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

Jesus Heals the Sick in Gennesaret

34 And when they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret. 35 And when the men of that place recognized him, they sent around to all that region and brought to him all who were sick 36 and implored him that they might only touch the fringe of his garment. And as many as touched it were made well.