1 Once as the crowd was pressing against Him to hear the message of God, He found Himself standing on the shore of Lake Gennesaret. 2 Then He saw two boats lying up on the shore of the lake, but the fishermen had left them and were washing their nets. 3 So He got into one of the boats, which belonged to Simon, and asked him to push out a little from the shore. Then He sat down and continued to teach the crowds from the boat.
4 When He stopped speaking, He said to Simon, "Push out into deep water, and set your nets for a haul."
5 Simon answered, "We have toiled all night and caught nothing, but since you tell me to do so, I will set the nets again."
6 They did so and caught so vast a shoal of fish that their nets began to break. 7 So they beckoned to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.
8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' feet and said, "Leave me, Lord, because I am a sinful man." 9 For at the haul of fish that they had made, bewildering amazement had seized him and all his men, 10 as well as James and John, Zebedee's sons, who were Simon's partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, "Stop being afraid; from now on you will be catching men." 11 So after they had brought the boats to land, they left everything and followed Him.
12 Now while He was in one of the towns, a man covered with leprosy saw Jesus and fell on his face and begged Him, saying, "Lord, if you choose to, you can cure me."
13 So He reached out His hand and touched him, saying, "I do choose to; be cured." And at once the leprosy left him. 14 Then He warned him not to tell anybody, but rather He said, "Go, show yourself to the priest, and, to prove it to the people, make the offering for your purification, just as Moses prescribed."
15 But the news about Him continued to spread, and great crowds were gathering to hear Him and to be cured of their diseases. 16 But Jesus Himself continued His habit of retiring to lonely spots and praying.
17 One day as He was teaching, there were some Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting by who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Him to cure people. 18 Now some men were carrying on a bed a man who was paralyzed, and they were trying to get him in and lay him before Jesus. 19 And as they could not find a way because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his pallet through the tiles, among the people right in front of Jesus.
21 But the scribes and the Pharisees began to argue, saying, "Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?"
22 Jesus saw that they were arguing, and answered them: "Why are you arguing so in your hearts? 23 Which is easier, to say 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say 'Get up and start walking'? 24 But to show you that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth" -- turning to the man who was paralyzed, He said to him, "Get up, pick up your pallet, and go home."
25 Then at once he got up before them all, picked up the pallet on which he had been lying, and went off home, giving praise to God. 26 Then an overwhelming wonder seized them all and they began to give praise to God. They were filled with awe and continued to say, "We have seen unthinkable wonders today!"
27 After this He went out and saw a tax-collector named Levi in his seat at the tax-collector's desk, and He said to him, "Follow me." 28 So he left everything behind, got up and followed Him.
29 Then Levi gave a great reception for Him in his house, and there was a large crowd of tax-collectors and others who were at table with them. 30 Now the Pharisees and their scribes were grumbling at His disciples, and were saying, "Why are you eating and drinking with tax-collectors and notorious sinners?"
31 But Jesus answered them, "Not well but sick people have to send for the doctor. 32 It is not upright but sinful people that I have come to invite to repentance."
33 After that they said to Him, "John's disciples rigidly practice fasting and offering up prayers; so do the Pharisees, but your disciples keep right on eating and drinking."
34 But Jesus said to them, "You cannot make the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them, can you? 35 But a time will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them; at that time they will fast."
36 Then He told them a short story: "No one tears a piece from a new coat and puts it on an old one; or if he does, he will tear the new one too, and the patch from the new coat will not match the old one. 37 So no one puts fresh wine into old wine bottles; or, if he does, the fresh wine will burst the bottles, the wine will run out, and the bottles will be ruined. 38 But fresh wine must be put into new bottles. 39 No one after drinking old wine wants new, for he says, 'The old is good enough.'"