The First Disciples
1As the crowd was pressing in on Jesus to hear God’s word,#Mt 4:18–22; Mk 1:16–20; Jn 1:40–42 he was standing by Lake Gennesaret.#5:1 Another name for the Sea of Galilee#Nm 34:11; Dt 3:17; Jos 12:3; 13:27; Mt 4:18 2He saw two boats at the edge of the lake; the fishermen had left them and were washing their nets. 3He got into one of the boats,#Mt 13:2; Mk 3:9–10; 4:1 which belonged to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from the land. Then he sat down and was teaching the crowds from the boat.
4When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and let down your nets for a catch.”#Jn 21:3–6
5“Master,”#Lk 8:24; 9:33,49; 17:13 Simon replied, “we’ve worked hard all night long and caught nothing. But if you say so, I’ll let down the nets.”#5:5 Other mss read net (Gk sg)
6When they did this, they caught a great number of fish, and their nets#5:6 Other mss read net (Gk sg) began to tear. 7So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them; they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.
8When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’s knees and said, “Go away from me, because I’m a sinful man, Lord!” #Is 6:5; Lk 19:7 9For he and all those with him were amazed#Lk 4:36; Ac 3:10 at the catch of fish they had taken, 10and so were James and John, Zebedee’s sons, who were Simon’s partners.
“Don’t be afraid,” #
Jesus told Simon. “From now on you will be catching people.”#2Tm 2:26 11Then they brought the boats to land, left everything, and followed him.#Mt 4:20,22; 19:29; Mk 1:18,20; Lk 5:28; 18:43
A Man Cleansed
12While he was in one of the towns, a man was there who had leprosy#5:12 Gk lepros; a term for various skin diseases, also in v. 13; see Lv 13–14 all over him.#Mt 8:2–4; Mk 1:40–44 He saw Jesus, fell facedown, and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”
13Reaching out his hand, Jesus touched him,#Mt 8:15; 9:29; 17:7; 20:34; Lk 18:15; 22:51 saying, “I am willing; be made clean,” and immediately the leprosy left him. 14Then he ordered him to tell no one:#Mt 16:20; 17:9; Mk 1:44; 7:36; 8:30; Lk 8:56; 9:21 “But go and show yourself to the priest, and offer what Moses commanded for your cleansing as a testimony to them.”
15But the news#5:15 Lit the word about him spread even more, and large crowds would come together to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. 16Yet he often withdrew to deserted places and prayed.#Mt 14:23; Mk 1:35; Lk 6:12
The Son of Man Forgives and Heals
17On one of those days while he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law#Ac 5:34; 1Tm 1:7 were sitting there who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea, and also from Jerusalem. And the Lord’s power to heal was in him.#Mk 5:30; Lk 6:19; 8:46 18Just then some men came,#Mt 9:2–8; Mk 2:3–12 carrying on a stretcher a man who was paralyzed. They tried to bring him in and set him down before him. 19Since they could not find a way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on the stretcher through the roof tiles into the middle of the crowd before Jesus.
20Seeing their faith he said, “Friend,#5:20 Lit “Man your sins are forgiven.”
21Then the scribes and the Pharisees#Mt 23:2; Lk 11:53; Jn 8:3 began to think to themselves, “Who is this man who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” #Is 43:25
22But perceiving their thoughts, Jesus replied to them, “Why are you thinking this in your hearts?#5:22 Or minds 23Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 24But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” — he told the paralyzed man, “I tell you: Get up, take your stretcher, and go home.”
25Immediately he got up before them, picked up what he had been lying on, and went home glorifying God.#Lk 7:16; 13:13; 17:15; 18:43; 23:47 26Then everyone was astounded, and they were giving glory to God. And they were filled with awe#Lk 1:65; 7:16 and said, “We have seen incredible things today.”
The Call of Levi
27After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the tax office,#Mt 9:9–17; Mk 2:14–22 and he said to him, “Follow me.” 28So, leaving everything behind, he got up and began to follow him.
29Then Levi hosted a grand banquet for him at his house. Now there was a large crowd of tax collectors and others who were reclining at the table with them.#Lk 15:1 30But the Pharisees and their scribes#Mk 2:16; Ac 23:9 were complaining to his disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”
31Jesus replied to them, “It is not those who are healthy who need a doctor, but those who are sick. 32I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
A Question about Fasting
33Then they said to him, “John’s disciples fast often and say prayers, and those of the Pharisees do the same, but yours eat and drink.”
34Jesus said to them, “You can’t make the wedding guests fast while the groom is with them, can you? 35But the time#5:35 Lit days will come#1Sm 2:31; Ps 37:13; Ec 2:16; 12:1; Lk 17:22 when the groom will be taken away from them — then they will fast in those days.”
36He also told them a parable: “No one tears a patch from a new garment and puts it on an old garment. Otherwise, not only will he tear the new, but also the piece from the new garment will not match the old. 37And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins, it will spill, and the skins will be ruined. 38No, new wine is put into fresh wineskins.#5:38 Other mss add And so both are preserved. 39And no one, after drinking old wine, wants new, because he says, ‘The old is better.’”#5:39 Or good