John wore a camel-hair habit, tied at the waist with a leather belt. He ate locusts and wild field honey.
As 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."
At 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."
At 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.
After 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."
Passing along the beach of Lake Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew net-fishing. Fishing was their regular work.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)