That same day when Je-sus had made an end of all the par-a-bles, he went on the sea of Gal-i-lee with his dis-ci-ples, and as he was tired he lay down in the back part of the boat and went to sleep. While he slept a great storm came up. The boat rocked and tossed and the waves swept over it so that the dis-ci-ples shook w*ith fear. They waked Je-sus and said: Lord, save us or we shall be drowned. Then Je-sus rose and calmed the wind and waves. He just said, "Peace, be still!" and at once the wind ceased and the waves went down. Then he said to the dis-ci-ples, "Why do ye fear? How is it that ye have no faith?" But their fear grew more and more and they said, what sort of man is this, that the wind and the sea do as he bids them?
As soon as the storm had been stilled they sailed to land, and when Je-sus stepped on shore, a man who had fiends came to meet him. He was such a fierce man that no one dared go near him. More than once his friends had bound him with chains to keep him at home; but that did no good, for he broke the chains and ran off and hid in caves that had been dug in the sides of the hills for tombs. There he would stay day and night and would cry out loud, and cut his flesh with stones. He would tear off his clothes, too, and no one could do a thing to help him or make him less like a wild beast.
But when he saw Je-sus he ran to him, and cried with a loud voice, What have I to do with thee, Je-sus, thou Son of the most high God? I pray thee not to hurt me. Then Je-sus bade the fiends (for there was more than one of them) come out of this poor man, A large herd of swine fed on a high hill near by, and when the fiends found they must come out of the man they begged that Je-sus would let them go in the swine. He said they might do so, and as soon as the herd felt the fiends in them they rushed down the side of the steep hill and were drowned in the sea. Then the men who took care of the swine ran to the town and told all that they had seen Je-sus do; and the folks went out and begged him to leave their coasts. When they saw the fierce, wild man clothed and in his right mind, and when they heard of the fate of the swine they feared to have Je-sus stay in their land.
The man out of whom the fiends had been cast was so full of love and thanks to Je-sus that he begged to stay with him all the time. But Je-sus knew it was best for him to be with his own folks, so he said, Go home to thy friends and tell them what great things the Lord path done for thee. The man did as he was bid and soon the whole town knew and spoke of the strange tale.
At this time He-rod (a son of the He-rod who slew the babes in Bethlehem) heard of the fame of Je-sus and said, This is John the Bap-tist, he has come back from the dead to do these great works. To please He-ro-dias, whom he loved, He-rod had sent forth and laid hold on John and bound him and put him in jail. He-ro-dias had been the wife of a man named Phil-ip, but she left him and went to be He-rod's wife. John said this was a sin, so He-rod put John in jail and left him there a long time.
On his birthday the king gave a great feast to his lords, Salo-me (the daughter of He-ro-dias) came in and danced for them, and He-rod, who was drunk with wine, was so much pleased with her that he said, Ask of me what thou wilt and I will give it thee. He swore that she should have what she chose, were it the half of his king-dom. Then Salo-me went and said to her mother, "What shall I ask of the king?" The mother, whose heart was full of hate for the Bap-tist, bade her ask He-rod to cut off the head of John and give it to her in a large dish.
So the girl went back in haste and said to the king, I will that thou give to me here in a dish, the head of John the Bap-tist.
Now He-rod did not wish to kill John, for he knew he was a good man and had done no wrong. He liked to hear him preach, too, and felt in his heart that it was right for him to warn men to turn from their sins; and that he was a brave man, who feared not to chide the king and speak the truth to him. He-rod wished he had not made such a rash vow; in spite of the wine, he felt a pang of grief that he had been caught in such a trap, but it was too late to take back his word. He would not break his oath, so lie sent some men to the ;ail to cut off John's head. They cut it off and put it in a large dish and brought it to Salo-me, and she tripped off with it to He-ro-dias. When John's friends heard of his death, they came and took up the corpse and bore it to the tomb, and then went and told Je-sus the sad tale.
But He-rod is not at ease, the fumes of the feast have gone off and the thought that he has slain a brave man, haunts the king like a ghost. When he hears of a young man who goes from town to town with signs and great deeds, he is full of fears. He says, It is true that I cut off the head of John the Bap-tist, but who but he can this be who can do such things ? This is John the Bap-tist who has come to life once more. He did not guess that he was more than John, that he was the Judge of John and of He-rod and of all the world, at whose bar he shall one day stand and hear his doom from the lips of him whom he now wants to see.
Then Je-sus and the twelve a-pos-tles took a boat and crossed the sea of Gal-i-lee in search of a place where they might rest a short while and gain some strength for their work. The crowds stayed with them day and night, and they could scarce find time to eat or sleep. Nor did they find it now, for when the folks saw them start off in the boat they ran round the lake and were on hand to greet Je-sus when he stepped on shore. Tired as he was he taught and preached, and healed the sick all day, and when night drew nigh the a-pos-tles came to him and said, The day is far spent and the folks have naught to eat; send them to the towns near by to get food, for there are no shops here where they may buy bread. But Je-sus said, "They need not leave this place; give ye them to eat."
The twelve stare at him, and then they beg to know if they are to buy the loaves of bread which it will take to give each one of the vast throng the least bit to eat. How much bread have you? Go and see. They bring back word that they had naught but five loaves and two small fish, and there were five thou-sand men to feed. Now there was much grass in that place, so Je-sus told them to make the men sit down on the grass in long rows. Then he took the five loaves and two small fish and blessed them and broke them in bits to be handed to the men. Each man had as much as he could eat, and still the bread and fish were not all gone. Je-sus told them to save all the scraps that were left, as it was wrong to waste good food. So they picked up twelve trays full of scraps, which was more than they had to start with.
This moves the crowd more than all the signs they have seen him do. How grand it would be to have a king who could feed us all the time like this and take care of us ! We could lie on the green sward and hear him talk, and have no
hard tax to pay to Rome, and no hard work to do!
Such a proof of the might of Je-sus made them know that he was more than just a mere man; more than a seer. They felt sure he was the Mes-siah they had so long looked for and, as they thought, this Mes-siah was to be a king, they wished to make Je-sus their king at once. But he knew this must not be; so he bade his dis-ci-ples set sail and leave him there. Then he sent the crowd off, too, and when they were all gone he went up to the top of the high hill, at whose foot he had been at work all day. Here he could watch and pray; could shed tears (which no eye might see) for the sad death of his friend John the Bap-tist, and could --- maybe --- get a bit of rest, if not of sleep.
It was a clear night in the spring of the year, and by the bright light of the moon Je-sus could see his dis-ci-ples in their boat on the lake. A sharp gust comes down on the lake from the hills, and they had hard work to reach the part of the shore for which Je-sus had bid them steer. For some hours they toiled in vain, for do what they would, they could not keep the boat in the right track.
At last Je-sus went to their aid and, at the same time, gave them a new proof of his might. He stepped in the sea and walked out to the boat. The waves leap and foam but he glides on as if his feet trod a smooth green lawn. When they saw him come to them in this strange way they did not know him, and were filled with fear. But Je-sus said, "Be of good cheer; fear not; it is I." Pe-ter said, "Lord, if it be thou, bid me come to thee on the waves." Je-sus said, "Come." Pe-ter leaps down from the ship and steps out with a brave air. But the wind blows, and the waves rise to meet hint, and he looks at them and not at Je-sus, and so, of course, he sinks. His faith is not so strong as his fears. But as he sinks he cries to Je-sus, "Lord, save me!" At once Je-sus stretched forth his hand and caught him, and said, "Oh thou of small faith why didst thou doubt?"
When Je-sus and Pe-ter were safe in the boat the wind ceased, and in a short time they were at the place which they had so long tried in vain to reach. Then they fell at Je-sus' feet and said, Of a truth thou art the Son of God! The folks on shore knew Je-sus and came from all parts of the land to beg his aid. They brought their sick friends on beds and laid them in his path; and he healed them all. In each town through which he passed the streets were lined with sick folks, who begged that they might just touch his robe; and all who touched were made well.
The men whom Je-sus had fed with the loaves and fishes, and then told to leave him, went back to the same spot next day; for as there was no boat left on the lake for Je-sus to sail off in they thought he would still be there. But as they did not see him they crossed the lake and sought him in Ca-per-na-um; and when they found him they said, Lord, how didst thou get here, and when didst thou come? They could not tell how he had reached Ca-per-na-um ere they did, for they had made use of boats. They knew the disci-pies had gone off and left him with no boat; and that he had not had time to walk round the sea of Gal-i-lee-from the east side to the westsince they last saw him. Je-sus did not tell them by what means he had reached the town, but he told them he knew why they sought him; it was not that they had seen his signs, but that they had been fed by him-they came for more bread.
Then he told them that he was the bread of life, and that God had sent him to give life to the world. They asked him what sign he could give to prove that God sent him. Je-sus said they had seen him, not just his face and his form, but his life and his works, and they ought to know that no one but God could do such things as he did. This was too much for their faith; they could trust him as their king, but not as their God. How dare he say that he is the bread of life, and came down from on high, when we know so well whose son he is. They said he was the son of Jo-seph and Ma-ry, so he must be a man; as a man he might be a great king or a wise seer, but could not be the Lord. That day a host of those who had been with Je-sus up to this time went back home, and walked no more with him; for they thought he made false claims and they could not trust his word.
Je-sus turned then to the twelve and said, "Will ye, too, leave me?" Peter said, "Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of life, and we know thou art the Christ, the Son of God." Then Je-sus left the land of Is-ra-el and came to the coasts of Tyre and Si-don. The folks here were not Jews, but Je-sus did not scorn to help them, when they came to him, though he was a Jew and his work was with and for the Jews first.
Je-sus did not wish folks to know he was there, so he went in a house and tried to keep out of sight; but a Greek woman who had heard of him came and begged him to cast a demon out of her child. At first Je-sus pre-tended not to see her --- as if to say he would have naught to do with those who were not Jews --- but this he did just to test her faith and see what she would do.
Though she was not a Jew she knew that this king of the Jews could help her if he would, so she fell at his feet and begged with all her heart: "Lord, help me!" Je-sus said, "It is not meet to take the chil-dren's bread and to cast it to the dogs." She still held on, and said, "Truth, Lord: Yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from the master's table." And she would not rise till Je-sus said, "Wom-an, great is thy faith! Be it to thee as thou wilt. The demon has gone out of thy child! And her child was made whole at that hour.