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John the Baptizer
1-3The good news of Jesus Christ—the Message!—begins here, following to the letter the scroll of the prophet Isaiah.
Watch closely: I’m sending my preacher ahead of you;
He’ll make the road smooth for you.
Thunder in the desert!
Prepare for God’s arrival!
Make the road smooth and straight!
4-6John the Baptizer appeared in the wild, preaching a baptism of life-change that leads to forgiveness of sins. People thronged to him from Judea and Jerusalem and, as they confessed their sins, were baptized by him in the Jordan River into a changed life. John wore a camel-hair habit, tied at the waist with a leather belt. He ate locusts and wild field honey.
7-8As he preached he said, “The real action comes next: The star in this drama, to whom I’m a mere stagehand, will change your life. I’m baptizing you here in the river, turning your old life in for a kingdom life. His baptism—a holy baptism by the Holy Spirit—will change you from the inside out.”
9-11At this time, Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. The moment he came out of the water, he saw the sky split open and God’s Spirit, looking like a dove, come down on him. Along with the Spirit, a voice: “You are my Son, chosen and marked by my love, pride of my life.”
God’s Kingdom Is Here
12-13At once, this same Spirit pushed Jesus out into the wild. For forty wilderness days and nights he was tested by Satan. Wild animals were his companions, and angels took care of him.
14-15After John was arrested, Jesus went to Galilee preaching the Message of God: “Time’s up! God’s kingdom is here. Change your life and believe the Message.”
16-18Passing along the beach of Lake Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew net-fishing. Fishing was their regular work. Jesus said to them, “Come with me. I’ll make a new kind of fisherman out of you. I’ll show you how to catch men and women instead of perch and bass.” They didn’t ask questions. They dropped their nets and followed.
19-20A dozen yards or so down the beach, he saw the brothers James and John, Zebedee’s sons. They were in the boat, mending their fishnets. Right off, he made the same offer. Immediately, they left their father Zebedee, the boat, and the hired hands, and followed.
Confident Teaching
21-22Then they entered Capernaum. When the Sabbath arrived, Jesus lost no time in getting to the meeting place. He spent the day there teaching. They were surprised at his teaching—so forthright, so confident—not quibbling and quoting like the religion scholars.
23-24Suddenly, while still in the meeting place, he was interrupted by a man who was deeply disturbed and yelling out, “What business do you have here with us, Jesus? Nazarene! I know what you’re up to! You’re the Holy One of God, and you’ve come to destroy us!”
25-26Jesus shut him up: “Quiet! Get out of him!” The afflicting spirit threw the man into spasms, protesting loudly—and got out.
27-28Everyone there was incredulous, buzzing with curiosity. “What’s going on here? A new teaching that does what it says? He shuts up defiling, demonic spirits and sends them packing!” News of this traveled fast and was soon all over Galilee.
29-31Directly on leaving the meeting place, they came to Simon and Andrew’s house, accompanied by James and John. Simon’s mother-in-law was sick in bed, burning up with fever. They told Jesus. He went to her, took her hand, and raised her up. No sooner had the fever left than she was up fixing dinner for them.
32-34That evening, after the sun was down, they brought sick and evil-afflicted people to him, the whole city lined up at his door! He cured their sick bodies and tormented spirits. Because the demons knew his true identity, he didn’t let them say a word.
The Leper
35-37While it was still night, way before dawn, he got up and went out to a secluded spot and prayed. Simon and those with him went looking for him. They found him and said, “Everybody’s looking for you.”
38-39Jesus said, “Let’s go to the rest of the villages so I can preach there also. This is why I’ve come.” He went to their meeting places all through Galilee, preaching and throwing out the demons.
40A leper came to him, begging on his knees, “If you want to, you can cleanse me.”
41-45Deeply moved, Jesus put out his hand, touched him, and said, “I want to. Be clean.” Then and there the leprosy was gone, his skin smooth and healthy. Jesus dismissed him with strict orders: “Say nothing to anyone. Take the offering for cleansing that Moses prescribed and present yourself to the priest. This will validate your healing to the people.” But as soon as the man was out of earshot, he told everyone he met what had happened, spreading the news all over town. So Jesus kept to out-of-the-way places, no longer able to move freely in and out of the city. But people found him, and came from all over.
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1 The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
2 As it has been written by the prophet Isaiah: "Behold, I send my Angel before your face, who shall prepare your way before you.
3 The voice of one crying out in the desert: Prepare the way of the Lord; make straight his paths."
4 John was in the desert, baptizing and preaching a baptism of repentance, as a remission of sins.
5 And there went out to him all the region of Judea and all those of Jerusalem, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.
6 And John was clothed with camel's hair and with a leather belt around his waist. And he ate locusts and wild honey.
7 And he preached, saying: "A stronger one comes after me. I am not worthy to reach down and loosen the laces of his shoes.
8 I have baptized you with water. Yet truly, he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."
9 And it happened that, in those days, Jesus arrived from Nazareth of Galilee. And he was baptized by John in the Jordan.
10 And immediately, upon ascending from the water, he saw the heavens opened and the Spirit, like a dove, descending, and remaining with him.
11 And there was a voice from heaven: "You are my beloved Son; in you I am well pleased."
12 And immediately the Spirit prompted him into the desert.
13 And he was in the desert for forty days and forty nights. And he was tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the Angels ministered to him.
14 Then, after John was handed over, Jesus went into Galilee, preaching the Gospel of the kingdom of God,
15 and saying: "For the time has been fulfilled and the kingdom of God has drawn near. Repent and believe in the Gospel."
16 And passing by the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew, casting nets into the sea, for they were fishermen.
17 And Jesus said to them, "Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men."
18 And at once abandoning their nets, they followed him.
19 And continuing on a little ways from there, he saw James of Zebedee and his brother John, and they were mending their nets in a boat.
20 And immediately he called them. And leaving behind their father Zebedee in the boat with his hired hands, they followed him.
21 And they entered into Capernaum. And entering into the synagogue promptly on the Sabbaths, he taught them.
22 And they were astonished over his doctrine. For he was teaching them as one who has authority, and not like the scribes.
23 And in their synagogue, there was a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out,
24 saying: "What are we to you, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are: the Holy One of God."
25 And Jesus admonished him, saying, "Be silent, and depart from the man."
26 And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying out with a loud voice, departed from him.
27 And they were all so amazed that they inquired among themselves, saying: "What is this? And what is this new doctrine? For with authority he commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him."
28 And his fame went out quickly, throughout the entire region of Galilee.
29 And soon after departing from the synagogue, they went into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.
30 But the mother-in-law of Simon lay ill with a fever. And at once they told him about her.
31 And drawing near to her, he raised her up, taking her by the hand. And immediately the fever left her, and she ministered to them.
32 Then, when evening arrived, after the sun had set, they brought to him all who had maladies and those who had demons.
33 And the entire city was gathered together at the door.
34 And he healed many who were troubled with various illnesses. And he cast out many demons, but he would not permit them to speak, because they knew him.
35 And rising up very early, departing, he went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed.
36 And Simon, and those who were with him, followed after him.
37 And when they had found him, they said to him, "For everyone is seeking you."
38 And he said to them: "Let us go into the neighboring towns and cities, so that I may preach there also. Indeed, it was for this reason that I came."
39 And he was preaching in their synagogues and throughout all of Galilee, and casting out demons.
40 And a leper came to him, begging him. And kneeling down, he said to him, "If you are willing, you are able to cleanse me."
41 Then Jesus, taking pity on him, reached out his hand. And touching him, he said to him: "I am willing. Be cleansed."
42 And after he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.
43 And he admonished him, and he promptly sent him away.
44 And he said to him: "See to it that you tell no one. But go and show yourself to the high priest, and offer for your cleansing that which Moses instructed, as a testimony for them."
45 But having departed, he began to preach and to disseminate the word, so that he was no longer able to openly enter a city, but had to remain outside, in deserted places. And they were gathered to him from every direction.