This is the beginning of the good news about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Long ago Isaiah the prophet wrote, "I will send my messenger ahead of you.
He will prepare your way." (Malachi 3:1)
"A messenger is calling out in the desert,
'Prepare the way for the Lord.
Make straight paths for him.' " (Isaiah 40:3)
And so John came. He baptized people in the desert. He also preached that people should be baptized and turn away from their sins. Then God would forgive them. All the people from the countryside of Judea went out to him. All the people from Jerusalem went too. When they admitted they had sinned, John baptized them in the Jordan River. John wore clothes made out of camel's hair. He had a leather belt around his waist. And he ate locusts and wild honey.
Here is what John was preaching. "After me, one will come who is more powerful than I am. I'm not good enough to bend down and untie his sandals. I baptize you with water. But he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."
At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee. John baptized him in the Jordan River. Jesus was coming up out of the water. Just then he saw heaven being torn open. He saw the Holy Spirit coming down on him like a dove. A voice spoke to him from heaven. It said, "You are my Son, and I love you. I am very pleased with you."
At once the Holy Spirit sent Jesus out into the desert. He was in the desert 40 days. There Satan tempted him. The wild animals didn't harm Jesus. Angels took care of him.
After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee. He preached God's good news. "The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near. Turn away from your sins and believe the good news!"
One day Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee. There he saw Simon and his brother Andrew. They were throwing a net into the lake. They were fishermen. "Come. Follow me," Jesus said. "I will make you fishers of people."
At once they left their nets and followed him.
Then Jesus walked a little farther. As he did, he saw James, son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They were in a boat preparing their nets. Right away he called out to them. They left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men. Then they followed Jesus.