1 NOW IT occurred that while the people pressed upon Jesus to hear the message of God, He was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret (Sea of Galilee).
2 And He saw two boats drawn up by the lake, but the fishermen had gone down from them and were washing their nets.
3 And getting into one of the boats, [the one] that belonged to Simon (Peter), He requested him to draw away a little from the shore. Then He sat down and continued to teach the crowd [of people] from the boat.
4 When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon (Peter), Put out into the deep [water], and lower your nets for a haul.
5 And Simon (Peter) answered, Master, we toiled all night [exhaustingly] and caught nothing [in our nets]. But on the ground of Your word, I will lower the nets [again].
6 And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish; and as their nets were [at the point of] breaking,
7 They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and take hold with them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.
8 But when Simon Peter saw this, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.
9 For he was gripped with bewildering amazement [allied to terror], and all who were with him, at the haul of fish which they had made;
10 And so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon (Peter). And Jesus said to Simon, Have no fear; from now on you will be catching men!
11 And after they had run their boats on shore, they left everything and joined Him as His disciples and sided with His party and accompanied Him.
12 While He was in one of the towns, there came a man full of (covered with) leprosy; and when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and implored Him, saying, Lord, if You are willing, You are able to cure me and make me clean.
13 And [Jesus] reached out His hand and touched him, saying, I am willing; be cleansed! And immediately the leprosy left him.
14 And [Jesus] charged him to tell no one [that he might chance to meet], until [He said] you go and show yourself to the priest, and make an offering for your purification, as Moses commanded, for a testimony and proof to the people, that they may have evidence [of your healing]. [Lev. 13:49; 14:2-32.]
15 But so much the more the news spread abroad concerning Him, and great crowds kept coming together to hear [Him] and to be healed by Him of their infirmities.
16 But He Himself withdrew [in retirement] to the wilderness (desert) and prayed.
17 One of those days, as He was teaching, there were Pharisees and teachers of the Law sitting by, who had come from every village and town of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was [present] with Him to heal them.
18 And behold, some men were bringing on a stretcher a man who was paralyzed, and they tried to carry him in and lay him before [Jesus].
19 But finding no way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him with his stretcher through the tiles into the midst, in front of Jesus.
20 And when He saw [their confidence in Him, springing from] their faith, He said, Man, your sins are forgiven you!
21 And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason and question and argue, saying, Who is this [Man] Who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?
22 But Jesus, knowing their thoughts and questionings, answered them, Why do you question in your hearts?
23 Which is easier: to say, Your sins are forgiven you, or to say, Arise and walk [about]?
24 But that you may know that the Son of Man has the [power of] authority and right on earth to forgive sins, He said to the paralyzed man, I say to you, arise, pick up your litter (stretcher), and go to your own house!
25 And instantly [the man] stood up before them and picked up what he had been lying on and went away to his house, recognizing and praising and thanking God.
26 And overwhelming astonishment and ecstasy seized them all, and they recognized and praised and thanked God; and they were filled with and controlled by reverential fear and kept saying, We have seen wonderful and strange and incredible and unthinkable things today!
27 And after this, Jesus went out and looked [attentively] at a tax collector named Levi sitting at the tax office; and He said to him, Join Me as a disciple and side with My party and accompany Me.
28 And he forsook everything and got up and followed Him [becoming His disciple and siding with His party].
29 And Levi (Matthew) made a great banquet for Him in his own house, and there was a large company of tax collectors and others who were reclining [at the table] with them.
30 Now the Pharisees and their scribes were grumbling against Jesus' disciples, saying, Why are you eating and drinking with tax collectors and [preeminently] sinful people?
31 And Jesus replied to them, It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick.
32 I have not come to arouse and invite and call the righteous, but the erring ones (those not free from sin) to repentance [to change their minds for the better and heartily to amend their ways, with abhorrence of their past sins].
33 Then they said to Him, The disciples of John practice fasting often and offer up prayers of [special] petition, and so do [the disciples] of the Pharisees also, but Yours eat and drink.
34 And Jesus said to them, Can you make the wedding guests fast as long as the bridegroom is with them?
35 But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; and then they will fast in those days.
36 He told them a proverb also: No one puts a patch from a new garment on an old garment; if he does, he will both tear the new one, and the patch from the new [one] will not match the old [garment].
37 And no one pours new wine into old wineskins; if he does, the fresh wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled and the skins will be ruined (destroyed).
38 But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins.
39 And no one after drinking old wine immediately desires new wine, for he says, The old is good or better.
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1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation