Early in the morning, well before sunrise, Jesus rose and went to a deserted place where he could be alone in prayer.
Simon and those with him tracked him down.
When they found him, they told him, "Everyone's looking for you!"
He replied, "Let's head in the other direction, to the nearby villages, so that I can preach there too. That's why I've come."
He traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and throwing out demons.
A man with a skin disease approached Jesus, fell to his knees, and begged, "If you want, you can make me clean."
Incensed, Jesus reached out his hand, touched him, and said, "I do want to. Be clean."
Instantly, the skin disease left him, and he was clean.
Sternly, Jesus sent him away,
saying, "Don't say anything to anyone. Instead, go and show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifice for your cleansing that Moses commanded. This will be a testimony to them."
Instead, he went out and started talking freely and spreading the news so that Jesus wasn't able to enter a town openly. He remained outside in deserted places, but people came to him from everywhere.