1 The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ. 2 As it is written in the prophet Isaiah: "Here I send my messenger ahead of you; He will prepare your way. 3 He is a voice of one who shouts in the desert, 'Get the road ready for the Lord; make the paths straight for Him.'"
4 John the Baptizer appeared in the desert and was preaching a baptism conditioned on repentance to obtain the forgiveness of sins. 5 And people from all over Judea and everybody in Jerusalem kept on going out to him and being baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins. 6 Now John wore clothing made of camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he used to live on dried locusts and wild honey. 7 He kept preaching the following message, "After me there is coming One who is stronger than I am, whose shoes I am not fit to stoop down and untie. 8 I have baptized you in water, but He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit."
9 Now in those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And just as soon as He started to come up out of the water, He saw the heavens split open and the Spirit coming down like a dove to enter Him. 11 And out of the heavens came a voice, "You are my Son, my Beloved! In you I am delighted!"
12 Then the Spirit at once drove Him out into the desert. 13 And He stayed in the desert forty days, while He was being tempted by Satan; yea, He was with the wild beasts, but the angels continued to wait upon Him.
14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God: 15 "The time is ripe and the kingdom of God is near; repent and believe in the good news."
16 As He was walking along the shore of the sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets in the sea, for they were fishermen.
17 So Jesus said to them, "Come, follow me, and I will make you fishermen for catching men." 18 And at once they forsook their nets and followed Him. 19 He walked on a little farther and saw James, the Son of Zebedee, and his brother John; they too were in their boats getting their nets in order. 20 He at once called them. They left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and went after Him.
21 They went into Capernaum, and as soon as the first Sabbath came, He went into the synagogue and began to teach. 22 And they were dumbfounded at His teaching, for He was teaching them like one who had authority to teach, and not like the scribes.
23 Just at that moment there was a man in their synagogue who was under the spell of a foul spirit, and so he screamed, 24 "What do you want of us, Jesus, you Nazarene? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, God's Holy One!"
25 Jesus reproved him, saying, "Hush up, get out of him!" 26 Then the foul spirit convulsed him and with a deafening shriek got out of him.
27 They were all so dumbfounded that they kept discussing it among themselves, and asking, "What does this mean? It is a new teaching. He gives orders with authority even to foul spirits, and they obey Him." 28 And His fame at once spread in all directions all over that part of Galilee.
29 As soon as they left the synagogue, they went home with Simon and Andrew, in company with James and John. 30 And Simon's mother-in-law was confined to her bed with a fever. So they at once told Him about her. 31 Then He went up to her, grasped her hand, and had her get up. The fever left her, and she began to wait upon them.
32 In the evening, when the sun had gone down, they kept on bringing to Him all the people who were sick or under the power of demons, 33 and the whole town gathered at the door. 34 And He cured many who were sick with various diseases, and drove out many demons, and would not let the demons speak a word, because they knew who He was.
35 Early in the morning, long before daybreak, He got up and went out to a lonely spot, and stayed praying there. 36 And Simon and his companions diligently searched for Him 37 and found Him, and said to Him, "Everybody is looking for you."
38 And He said to them, "Let us go somewhere else, to the neighboring towns, to preach in them, too, for that is why I came out here." 39 So He went all over Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.
40 There came to Him a leper, begging Him on his knees, saying to Him, "If you want to, you can cure me."
41 And His heart was moved with pity for him, so He stretched out His hand and touched him, and said, "I do want to! Be cured!" 42 And the leprosy at once left him, and he was cured. 43 But Jesus at once drove him out of their presence, and gave him this stringent charge: 44 "See that you tell nobody a single word about it. Be gone, show yourself to the priest, and to prove it to the people, make the offering for your purification which Moses prescribed." 45 But he went out and began to publish it so much and to spread the story so far, that Jesus could not any more go into any town openly, but had to stay out in thinly settled places. But the people kept coming to Him from every quarter.