The start of the good news
1This is the start of the good news about Jesus Christ. He is the Son of God. 2The prophet Isaiah wrote this message from God in his book:
‘Listen! I will send someone to go in front of you.
He will speak my message.
He will prepare a way for you.
3Somebody's voice is shouting in the wilderness:
“The Lord will come soon, so prepare a way for him to follow.
Make the paths straight for him.” ’ #1:3 Isaiah was telling people about a man called John. John will say to the people that they should prepare themselves for the Messiah. They must stop doing wrong things. People mended the roads before a king travelled along them. Isaiah is using this like a picture in words. This helps the people to understand how to prepare for the Messiah.
4So John went to a place in the wilderness. He baptized people and spoke a message from God. ‘You have done many wrong things,’ he taught everybody. ‘You must turn away from them and change how you live. Then God will forgive you and I will baptize you.’ #1:4 Baptism showed that a person wanted to change. He would tell God that he was sorry. He was sorry for the wrong things that he had done. Now he would obey God. #1:4 John used water from the river Jordan to baptize the people.
5Many people who lived in Jerusalem city and in the country called Judea went to listen to John. The people told God about all the wrong things that they had done. Then John baptized them in the river Jordan. 6John wore clothes made from the hair of a camel. He also wore a belt made from leather. His usual food was large insects and honey from the wilderness. #1:6 Judea was part of Israel and Jerusalem was the capital city. #1:6 A camel is a large animal like a horse. It can carry heavy things on its back. #1:6 Honey is very sweet. An insect called a bee makes honey. The insects that John ate were called locusts.
7John said to the people, ‘Another person will come soon. He is much greater than I am. I am not good enough even to undo his shoes for him. 8I have baptized you with water. But this other person will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.’
John baptizes Jesus
9Soon after this, Jesus came from the town called Nazareth in Galilee. John baptized him in the river Jordan. 10While Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw the skies open. The Holy Spirit came down like a dove. He came down and he stayed on Jesus. 11A voice came from heaven: ‘You are my Son and I love you. You make me very happy.’
Satan tries to cause Jesus to do wrong things
12Immediately, the Holy Spirit sent Jesus out into the wilderness. 13Jesus was in the wilderness for 40 days. During this time, Satan tried to cause him to do wrong things. There were wild animals with Jesus in the wilderness. God's angels took care of him.
Jesus asks some men to be his disciples
14When John was in a prison, Jesus went to Galilee. He told people the good news about God. 15Jesus said, ‘Now is the time when the kingdom of God has come very near. You have done many wrong things. Turn away from them and change the way that you live. Believe God's good news.’ #1:15 Herod had sent his wife away. Then he married Herodias. Herodias was already the wife of Philip, the brother of Herod. John told Herod that he had done wrong things. Herod was angry with him, so he said to his soldiers, ‘Put John in the prison.’ #1:15 This John was also called John the Baptist because he baptized people.
16On one day, Jesus was walking along the shore of Lake Galilee. He saw two brothers called Simon and Andrew. Their job was to catch fish. They were throwing their nets into the lake to catch fish. 17‘Come with me and be my disciples,’ Jesus said to them. ‘Then I will teach you how to catch people, instead of fish.’ 18Simon and Andrew immediately put down their nets, and they went with Jesus. #1:18 Simon was also called Peter. #1:18 Jesus did not mean that Simon and Andrew would really catch people. He would teach Simon and Andrew how to tell other people the good news about himself. They would bring people to Jesus, so that those people could believe in him. Those people could then ask God to rule them and they could be Jesus' disciples. #1:18 Simon and his brother lived in a town called Capernaum. This town is on the shore of Lake Galilee.
19Then Jesus continued to walk along the shore. Soon he saw two more men who were brothers. They were called James and John. They were the sons of Zebedee. They were in their boat and they were mending their nets. 20Immediately, Jesus asked them to come with him. They left their father and his workers in the boat, and they went with Jesus to be his disciples.
Jesus causes a bad spirit to leave a man
21Then Jesus and those disciples went into a town called Capernaum. On the next Jewish day for rest, Jesus went into the Jews' meeting place. He began to teach the people there. #1:21 The meeting place was called a synagogue. It is a building where Jewish people meet to pray. They also read the Old Testament of the Bible there. #1:21 The day when Jewish people rest is called the Sabbath. It is the day that we call Saturday.
22The people were very surprised at the things that Jesus taught them. When he taught them, he showed his authority. That was not like the way that the teachers of God's Law taught people. 23In the meeting place, there was a man who had a bad spirit. The bad spirit caused the man to shout. 24He said, ‘Jesus from Nazareth, leave us alone! Do not kill us! I know who you are. You are the Holy One and God has sent you.’
25Jesus spoke to the bad spirit. ‘Be quiet!’ he said. ‘Come out of the man!’ 26The bad spirit caused the man to fall. It shouted loudly and then it came out of the man.
27All the people were very surprised, and they said to each other, ‘This is very strange. This man Jesus is teaching us something new and he speaks with authority. He can tell bad spirits what they must do, and they do it.’ 28Immediately, people began to tell the news about Jesus. Everywhere in Galilee, they were telling other people about him.
Jesus makes many people well
29Then Jesus left the meeting place. He took James and John with him to the home of Simon and Andrew. 30The mother of Simon's wife was ill in bed. Her body was very hot. Immediately, Simon and Andrew told Jesus about her. 31So he went to her and he held her hand. Then he helped her to sit up and she was well again. Immediately she prepared food for her visitors.
32-33That evening, when the sun had gone down, people in the town came to Jesus. They brought to him everyone who was ill. And they brought people with bad spirits in them. All these people were standing together near the door of the house. 34Jesus caused many sick people to become well. They had many different kinds of illness. He also caused many bad spirits to leave people. The spirits knew who he was. So Jesus did not let them speak. #1:34 The Jews had many rules about the things that they should not do on their day for rest. They must not work or carry things on that day. When the sun went down, it was the end of the day for rest. So the people waited until then to bring the sick people to him.
Jesus prays alone in a quiet place
35Jesus got up very early the next morning, while it was still dark. He went to a place where he could be alone. And there he prayed. 36Simon and the other disciples had to go and look for him. 37When they found him, they said, ‘Everyone is looking for you.’
38Jesus replied, ‘We should go to other towns near here, so that I can teach the people there also. I came here for that reason.’ 39So Jesus travelled everywhere in Galilee. He taught the people in the Jewish meeting places. He caused bad spirits to come out of people.
A man with an illness in his skin
40On one day, a man who had an illness of the skin came to Jesus. He went down on his knees in front of Jesus. The man said. ‘If you want, you can make me well again. Please do it.’
41Jesus felt very sorry for the man. He put out his hand towards the man and he touched him. ‘I do want to help you,’ Jesus said, ‘Be clean again!’ 42Immediately, the illness left the man.
43Jesus sent the man away immediately and he spoke to the man with strong words. 44‘Listen. Do not tell anyone about this,’ Jesus said. ‘Instead, go and show yourself to the priest. Take a gift to him for God. Moses taught the people what gift to take to God when they are clean again after this kind of illness. This will show everyone that you are now well again.’ 45But instead, the man went away and he talked to everybody. He told them what had happened to him. Because he did this, it became too difficult for Jesus to go into the towns. Everybody knew him, and so Jesus stayed in places in the wilderness. And the people came from every direction to see him.