1Here is the beginning of the good news about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
2Just as the prophet Isaiah wrote, “I'm sending my messenger ahead of you to prepare your way. 3A voice is calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the Lord's way! Make his paths straight.’”#1:3. Malachi 3:1; Isaiah 40:3.
4John came, baptizing in the desert, announcing a baptism of repentance#1:4. Repentance means a “change of mind.” for the forgiveness of sins. 5Everybody from the country of Judea and from Jerusalem went to him. They admitted their sins publicly and were baptized in the Jordan River.
6John wore clothes made of camel hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts#1:6. Most likely locust-beans rather than the insect. and wild honey. 7This is what he had to say: “After me someone is coming who is greater than I am. I'm not worthy to bend down and untie his sandals. 8I baptized you in water but he will baptize you in the Holy Spirit.”
9Then Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan River. 10As Jesus came out of the water, he saw the heavens split apart and the Spirit like a dove descending upon#1:10. Or “into.” him. 11A voice from heaven said, “You are my son, the one I love. I am very pleased with you.”
12Right after this the Spirit sent him away into the desert 13where he was tempted by Satan for forty days. He was with the wild animals, and angels took care of him.
14Later, after John was arrested, Jesus went to Galilee, announcing God's good news.
15“The time predicted has come,” he said. “God's kingdom is near. Repent and believe in the good news.”
16As he was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, Jesus saw Simon and his brother Andrew throwing a net into the water, for they made their living by fishing. 17“Come and follow me,” he told them, “and I will have you fishing for people.” 18They left their nets at once and followed him.
19He went a little farther and saw James and his brother John, the sons of Zebedee. They were in a boat mending their nets. 20Immediately he called them to follow him,#1:20. Implied. and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired workers, and followed Jesus.
21They left for Capernaum, and on Sabbath Jesus went into the synagogue and taught there. 22The people were amazed at his teaching, for he spoke with authority, unlike the religious teachers.#1:22. “Religious teachers” or “scribes.” These were more than “scribes” in the writing sense. These were men who had authority in interpreting Scripture and spent time instructing people in the requirements of the religious law.
23Suddenly, right there in the synagogue, a man with an evil spirit started shouting out, 24“Jesus of Nazareth, why are you bothering us? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are! You're God's Holy One!”
25Jesus interrupted the evil spirit, telling him, “Be quiet! Come out of him.”
26The evil spirit screamed, threw the man into convulsions, and came out of him.
27Everyone was amazed at what happened. “What is this?” they asked each other. “What is this new teaching that has such authority? Even evil spirits do what he tells them!” 28News about him spread quickly throughout the whole region of Galilee.
29Then they left the synagogue and went to the home of Simon and Andrew, along with James and John. 30Simon's mother-in-law was sick in bed with a fever, so they told Jesus about her. 31He went to her, took her by the hand, and helped her up. The fever immediately left her. Then she made them a meal.
32After sunset that evening, those who were sick and demon-possessed were brought to Jesus. 33The whole of the town gathered outside. 34He healed many people who had various diseases, and threw out many demons. He did not permit the demons to speak, for they knew who he was.
35Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up and went alone to a quiet place to pray. 36Simon and the others went to search for him. 37When they found him, they told him, “Everybody's looking for you.”
38But Jesus replied, “We have to go to the other towns around here so that I can tell them the good news as well—for that's why I came.”
39So he went all over Galilee, speaking in the synagogues and expelling demons.
40A leper came to him asking for help. The man kneeled down before Jesus, saying, “Please, if you're willing, you can heal me!” 41With compassion Jesus reached out and touched the man, and said, “I am willing. Be healed!”
42The leprosy left him immediately, and he was healed. 43Jesus sent him away with a strong warning. 44“Make sure you don't tell anybody anything about this,” he told him. “Go to the priest and show yourself to him. Give the offering which is required by the law of Moses for such cleansing, so that people will have proof.”
45But the healed leper went out and told everyone what had happened. As a result Jesus could not openly go into the cities anymore, but had to stay out in the country where people came to him from everywhere around.