John Prepares for Jesus
1This is the beginning of the Good News about Jesus Christ, the Son of God,# Some Greek copies do not have this phrase. 2as the prophet Isaiah wrote:
“I will send my messenger ahead of you.
He will prepare your way.” Malachi 3:1
3“There is a voice of a man who
calls out in the desert:
‘Prepare the way for the Lord.
Make the road straight for him.’” Isaiah 40:3
4John was baptizing people in the desert. He preached a baptism of changed hearts and lives for the forgiveness of sins. 5All the people from Judea and Jerusalem were going out to John. They told about the sins they had done. Then they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. 6John wore clothes made from camel’s hair and had a leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts and wild honey. 7This is what John preached to the people: “There is one coming later who is greater than I. I am not good enough even to kneel down and untie his sandals. 8I baptize you with water. But the one who is coming will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
Jesus Is Baptized
9At that time Jesus came from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to the place where John was. John baptized Jesus in the Jordan River. 10When Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven open. The Holy Spirit came down on him like a dove. 11A voice came from heaven and said: “You are my Son and I love you. I am very pleased with you.”
12Then the Spirit sent Jesus into the desert alone. 13He was in the desert 40 days and was there with the wild animals. While he was in the desert, he was tempted by Satan. Then angels came and took care of Jesus.
Jesus Chooses Some Followers
14After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee and preached the Good News from God. 15Jesus said, “The right time has come. The kingdom of God is near. Change your hearts and lives and believe the Good News!”
16When Jesus was walking by Lake Galilee, he saw Simon# Simon’s other name was Peter. and Simon’s brother, Andrew. They were fishermen and were throwing a net into the lake to catch fish. 17Jesus said to them, “Come and follow me. I will make you fishermen for men.” 18So Simon and Andrew immediately left their nets and followed him.
19Jesus continued walking by Lake Galilee. He saw two more brothers, James and John, the sons of Zebedee. They were in their boat, preparing their nets to catch fish. 20Their father Zebedee and the men who worked for him were in the boat with the brothers. When Jesus saw the brothers, he called them to come with him. They left their father and followed Jesus.
Jesus Removes an Evil Spirit
21Jesus and his followers went to Capernaum. On the Sabbath day Jesus went to the synagogue and began to teach. 22The people there were amazed at his teaching. He did not teach like their teachers of the law. He taught like a person who had authority. 23While he was in the synagogue, a man was there who had an evil spirit in him. The man shouted, 24“Jesus of Nazareth! What do you want with us? Did you come to destroy us? I know who you are—God’s Holy One!”
25Jesus said strongly, “Be quiet! Come out of the man!” 26The evil spirit made the man shake violently. Then the spirit gave a loud cry and came out of him.
27The people were amazed. They asked each other, “What is happening here? This man is teaching something new. And he teaches with authority. He even gives commands to evil spirits, and they obey him.” 28And the news about Jesus spread quickly everywhere in the area of Galilee.
Jesus Heals Many People
29Jesus and his followers left the synagogue. They all went at once with James and John to the home of Simon# Simon’s other name was Peter. and Andrew. 30Simon’s mother-in-law was sick in bed with a fever. The people there told Jesus about her. 31So Jesus went to her bed, took her hand, and helped her up. Immediately the fever left her, and she was healed. Then she began serving them.
32That night, after the sun went down, the people brought to Jesus all who were sick. They also brought those who had demons in them. 33The whole town gathered at the door of the house. 34Jesus healed many who had different kinds of sicknesses. He also forced many demons to leave people. But he would not allow the demons to speak, because they knew who he was.
35Early the next morning, Jesus woke and left the house while it was still dark. He went to a place to be alone and pray. 36Later, Simon and his friends went to look for Jesus. 37They found him and said, “Everyone is looking for you!”
38Jesus answered, “We should go somewhere else, to other towns around here. Then I can preach there too. That is the reason I came.” 39So he traveled everywhere in Galilee. He preached in the synagogues and forced demons to leave people.
Jesus Heals a Sick Man
40A man who had a harmful skin disease came to Jesus. The man fell to his knees and begged Jesus, “I know that you can heal me if you will.”
41Jesus felt sorry for the man. So he touched him and said, “I want to heal you. Be healed!” 42At once the disease left the man, and he was healed.
43Jesus told the man to go at once. But Jesus warned him strongly, 44“Don’t tell anyone about what I did for you. But go and show yourself to the priest. And offer a gift to God because you have been healed. Offer the gift that Moses commanded.# Read about this in Leviticus 14:1–32. This will show the people that you are healed.” 45The man left there, but he told everyone he saw that Jesus had healed him. So the news about Jesus spread. That is the reason Jesus could not enter a town if people saw him. He stayed in places where nobody lived. But people came from all the towns to wherever he was.