Then Jesus returned to Galilee, filled with the Holy Spirit's power. Soon he became well known throughout the surrounding country.
He taught in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.
When he came to the village of Nazareth, his boyhood home, he went as usual to the synagogue on the Sabbath and stood up to read the Scriptures.
The scroll containing the messages of Isaiah the prophet was handed to him, and he unrolled the scroll to the place where it says:
18"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has appointed me to preach Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the downtrodden will be freed from their oppressors, 19and that the time of the Lord's favor has come.a"20
He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant, and sat down. Everyone in the synagogue stared at him intently.
Then he said, "This Scripture has come true today before your very eyes!"22
All who were there spoke well of him and were amazed by the gracious words that fell from his lips. "How can this be?" they asked. "Isn't this Joseph's son?"
Then he said, "Probably you will quote me that proverb, 'Physician, heal yourself' -- meaning, 'Why don't you do miracles here in your hometown like those you did in Capernaum?' 24But the truth is, no prophet is accepted in his own hometown."
25"Certainly there were many widows in Israel who needed help in Elijah's time, when there was no rain for three and a half years and hunger stalked the land. 26Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them. He was sent instead to a widow of Zarephath -- a foreigner in the land of Sidon. 27Or think of the prophet Elisha, who healed Naaman, a Syrian, rather than the many lepers in Israel who needed help."28
When they heard this, the people in the synagogue were furious.
Jumping up, they mobbed him and took him to the edge of the hill on which the city was built. They intended to push him over the cliff,
but he slipped away through the crowd and left them.
Then Jesus went to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and taught there in the synagogue every Sabbath day.
There, too, the people were amazed at the things he said, because he spoke with authority.
Once when he was in the synagogue, a man possessed by a demon began shouting at Jesus,
"Go away! Why are you bothering us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are -- the Holy One sent from God."
Jesus cut him short. "Be silent!" he told the demon. "Come out of the man!" The demon threw the man to the floor as the crowd watched; then it left him without hurting him further.
Amazed, the people exclaimed, "What authority and power this man's words possess! Even evil spirits obey him and flee at his command!"
The story of what he had done spread like wildfire throughout the whole region.
After leaving the synagogue that day, Jesus went to Simon's home, where he found Simon's mother-in-law very sick with a high fever. "Please heal her," everyone begged.
Standing at her bedside, he spoke to the fever, rebuking it, and immediately her temperature returned to normal. She got up at once and prepared a meal for them.
As the sun went down that evening, people throughout the village brought sick family members to Jesus. No matter what their diseases were, the touch of his hand healed every one.
Some were possessed by demons; and the demons came out at his command, shouting, "You are the Son of God." But because they knew he was the Messiah, he stopped them and told them to be silent.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)