The Ministry of John the Baptist
1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
2 As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, "I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way,
3 the voice of one calling out in the wilderness,
'Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight.'"
4 In the wilderness John the baptizer began preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
5 People from all over Judea and Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, as they confessed their sins.
6 John wore a garment made of camel's hair with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey.
7 He proclaimed, "One more powerful than I am is coming after me; I am not worthy to bend down and untie the thong of his sandals.
8 I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."
The Baptism and Temptation of Jesus
9 Now in those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan River.
10 And just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens splitting apart and the Spirit descending on him like a dove.
11 And a voice came from heaven: "You are my one dear Son; in you I take great delight."
12 The Spirit immediately drove him into the wilderness.
13 He was in the wilderness forty days, undergoing temptations by Satan. He was with wild animals, and angels were ministering to his needs.
The Beginning of Jesus' Ministry and the Call of the Disciples
14 Now after John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee and proclaimed the gospel of God.
15 He said, "The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the gospel!"
16 As he went along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew, Simon's brother, casting a net into the sea (for they were fishermen).
17 "Follow me," Jesus said to them, "and I will turn you into fishers of people."
18 They left their nets immediately and followed him.
19 Going on a little farther, he saw James, the son of Zebedee, and John his brother in their boat mending nets.
20 Immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.
21 Then they went to Capernaum. When the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and taught.
22 The people there were amazed by his teaching, for he taught them like one with authority and not like their experts in the law.
23 Just then there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit who cried out,
24 "Leave us alone, Jesus, the Nazarene! Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are--the Holy One of God!"
25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be quiet and come out of him!"
26 After convulsing him, the unclean spirit cried out with a loud voice and came out of him.
27 They were all amazed so that they asked each other, "What is this? A new teaching with authority! He even commands the unclean spirits and they obey him."
28 So a report about him spread quickly throughout the region around Galilee.
Healings at Simon's House
29 Now as soon as they left the synagogue they went to the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.
30 Simon's mother-in-law was lying down with a fever, so they spoke to Jesus at once about her.
31 He came and raised her by taking her hand. Then the fever left her and she began to serve them.
32 When it was evening, after sunset, they brought to him all who were sick and demon-possessed.
33 The whole town gathered by the door.
34 So he healed many sick with various diseases and drove out many demons. But he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.
Praying and Preaching
35 Then Jesus got up in the darkness of the early morning and went out to a deserted place, and there he spent time in prayer.
36 Simon and his companions searched for him.
37 When they found him, they said, "Everyone is looking for you."
38 He answered, "Let us go elsewhere, into the surrounding villages, so that I can preach there too. For that is what I came to do."
39 So he went into all of Galilee preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.
Cleansing a Leper
40 Now a leper came to him and fell to his knees, asking for help. "If you are willing, you can make me clean," he said.
41 Moved with compassion, Jesus extended his hand and touched him, saying, "I am willing. Be clean."
42 The leprosy left him at once, and he was clean.
43 After giving the man a stern warning, Jesus sent him away
44 and told him, "See that you do not say anything to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest, and bring what Moses commanded for your cleansing as a testimony to them."
45 But as the man went out he began to announce it publicly and spread the story widely, so that Jesus was no longer able to enter any town openly but stayed outside in remote places. Still they kept coming to him from everywhere.