1 This is [how] the good news about Jesus Christ, the Son of God, began. 2 It was even written in Isaiah, the prophet [Note: Verse 2 is quote from Mal. 3:1; verse 3 from Isa. 40:3], "Look, I am sending my messenger on ahead of you. He will prepare the way for you. 3 He will be the voice of a man shouting out in the desert, [urging people] to make the road for the Lord ready [to travel on]; to make a straight pathway for him."
4 John [the Immerser] came immersing people in the desert and proclaiming that those immersed on the basis of their repentance would receive the forgiveness of sins [from God]. 5 And people from throughout all the regions of Judea and all of Jerusalem went out to John [in the desert]. And he immersed them in the Jordan River as they confessed their sins. 6 John wore clothing made of camel's hair and he had a leather belt around his waist. He ate grasshoppers and wild honey. 7 In his preaching John said, "One who is more powerful than I am will follow my ministry. I am not [even] worthy to stoop down and loosen the straps of His sandals [i.e., to serve as His slave]. 8 I am immersing you in water, but He will immerse you in the Holy Spirit."
9 And it happened at that time that Jesus went from Nazareth, in Galilee [i.e., south to Judea], where He was immersed by John in the Jordan River. 10 And immediately upon emerging from the water, He saw the sky split open and the Holy Spirit descending on Him as a dove. 11 And a voice called out from heaven, saying, "You are my dearly loved Son. I am very pleased with you."
12 Then right after that the Holy Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert. 13 He spent forty days in this desert where He was put to the test by Satan. He was with wild animals, and angels ministered to His needs [while there].
14 Now after John was turned over [i.e., to the authorities and imprisoned] Jesus went [back] to Galilee preaching the good news from God 15 and saying, "The appointed time has arrived and the kingdom of God is near. So, you people should repent [i.e, change your hearts and lives] and believe the good news [about the kingdom]."
16 And while walking along the shore of Lake Galilee, Jesus saw Simon [i.e., Peter] and his brother Andrew casting their net in the lake, for they were fishermen.
17 And Jesus said to them, "Come, follow me and I will make you fishermen for people." 18 So, they left their nets immediately and became His followers. 19 Then, as He walked on a little farther, He saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John, who were in their boat repairing nets. 20 Immediately He called them [to become His followers] and they left their father, Zebedee, and went along with Him.
21 So, they went to Capernaum [Note: This was a city in Galilee that later became Jesus' headquarters while in Galilee. See verse 22 They were amazed at His teaching for He taught them as one who had [real] authority, and not as the experts in the law of Moses.
23 And just then there appeared in the synagogue a man dominated by an evil spirit. He shouted out, 24 "What business do we have with you, Jesus from Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are; [you are] God's Holy One."
25 Jesus spoke sternly to him, saying, "Be quiet, and come out of him." 26 And the evil spirit caused the man to have a convulsion, then shouted with a loud voice and came out of him.
27 And all the people [in the synagogue] were so amazed they began asking one another, "What is this, some new teaching? And it is spoken with such authority He even orders evil spirits, and they obey him." 28 And news about Him quickly spread everywhere, [even] into all of Galilee and the surrounding regions.
29 And as soon as they left the synagogue, they went into the house of Simon [i.e., Peter] and Andrew, taking James and John with them. 30 Now Simon's mother-in-law was sick [in bed] with a fever. Immediately, Jesus was told about her [condition] 31 so He went to her, took her by the hand and raised her up [from bed]. The fever left her and she began serving them.
32 When evening came and the sun had set, they brought to Jesus all those who were sick and those dominated by evil spirits. 33 And people from all over the city [of Capernaum] gathered at the door of the house, 34 and He healed many of those who were sick with various diseases and drove out many evil spirits. But He did not permit the evil spirits to tell people [who He was], because they knew who He was [i.e., the Christ].
35 Very early in the morning, [even] before daylight, Jesus woke up, left Simon's house [verse 29] and went out to a deserted place where He prayed. 36 And Simon and those who were with him [i.e., probably Andrew, James and John. See verse 29] followed Him. 37 When they found Him, they said to Him, "Everyone is looking for you."
38 He said to them, "Let us go on to the next towns so that I can preach there also, for this was why I came out [i.e., Jesus was sent by God to preach to other towns as well as Capernaum. See Luke 4:43]." 39 So, Jesus went into the [Jewish] synagogues throughout all Galilee, preaching [the good news about the coming kingdom, verses 14-15] and driving out evil spirits.
40 Then a person with an infectious skin disease came to Jesus and, kneeling down before Him, begged Him, saying, "If you want to, you can heal me." [Note: Throughout this narrative the term "heal/healing" is originally "clean/cleansing" because the Jews viewed a person with such a disease as ceremonially "unclean." See Lev. 13:1-3].
41 And being moved with deep pity, Jesus reached out His hand, touched him and said, "I do want to; be healed." 42 And immediately the infectious skin disease left him and he was healed. 43 Jesus sternly warned him, sending him directly out, 44 and saying to him, "Make sure you do not say anything to anyone. But go and show yourself to the priest and make an offering for your healing with whatever Moses ordered [Lev. 14:1-9], as evidence to people [that you were completely healed]." 45 But [instead] the man went out telling everyone about the miracle of healing and spreading the story widely, so that Jesus was not able to enter a town publicly but had to remain outside in deserted places. [So], people went to Him there from all over the region.