Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River. The Spirit led him into the desert.
There the devil tempted him for 40 days. Jesus ate nothing during that time. At the end of the 40 days, he was hungry.
The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread."
Jesus answered, "It is written, 'Man doesn't live only on bread.' "(Deuteronomy 8:3)
Then the devil led Jesus up to a high place. In an instant, he showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world.
He said to him, "I will give you all their authority and glory. It has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to.
So if you worship me, it will all be yours."
Jesus answered, "It is written, 'Worship the Lord your God. He is the only one you should serve.' "(Deuteronomy 6:13)
Then the devil led Jesus to Jerusalem. He had him stand on the highest point of the temple. "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down from here.
It is written, " 'The Lord will command his angels to take good care of you.
They will lift you up in their hands. Then you won't trip over a stone.' " (Psalm 91:11,12)
Jesus answered, "Scripture says, 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.' "(Deuteronomy 6:16)
When the devil finished all this tempting, he left Jesus until a better time.
Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Holy Spirit. News about him spread through the whole countryside.
He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.
Jesus went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. On the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue as he usually did. And he stood up to read.
The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. He unrolled it and found the right place. There it is written,
"The Spirit of the Lord is on me. He has anointed me to tell the good news to poor people. He has sent me to announce freedom for prisoners. He has sent me so that the blind will see again. He wants me to free those who are beaten down.
And he has sent me to announce the year when he will set his people free." (Isaiah 61:1,2)
Then Jesus rolled up the scroll. He gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were staring at him.
He began by saying to them, "Today this passage of Scripture is coming true as you listen."
Everyone said good things about him. They were amazed at the gracious words they heard from his lips. "Isn't this Joseph's son?" they asked.
Jesus said, "Here is a saying you will certainly apply to me. 'Doctor, heal yourself! Do the things here in your hometown that we heard you did in Capernaum.' "
"What I'm about to tell you is true," he continued. "A prophet is not accepted in his hometown.
I tell you for sure that there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah. And there had been no rain for three and a half years. There wasn't enough food to eat anywhere in the land.
But Elijah was not sent to any of those widows. Instead, he was sent to a widow in Zarephath near Sidon.
And there were many in Israel who had skin diseases in the days of Elisha the prophet. But not one of them was healed except Naaman the Syrian."
All the people in the synagogue were very angry when they heard that.
They got up and ran Jesus out of town. They took him to the edge of the hill on which the town was built. They planned to throw him down the cliff.
But Jesus walked right through the crowd and went on his way.
Then Jesus went to Capernaum, a town in Galilee. On the Sabbath day he began to teach the people.
They were amazed at his teaching, because his message had authority.
In the synagogue there was a man controlled by a demon, an evil spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice.
"Ha!" he said. "What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are. You are the Holy One of God!"
"Be quiet!" Jesus said firmly. "Come out of him!" Then the demon threw the man down in front of everybody. And it came out without hurting him.
All the people were amazed. They said to each other, "What is this teaching? With authority and power he gives orders to evil spirits. And they come out!"
The news about Jesus spread throughout the whole area.
Jesus left the synagogue and went to the home of Simon. At that time, Simon's mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever. So they asked Jesus to help her.
He bent over her and commanded the fever to leave, and it left her. She got up at once and began to serve them.
At sunset, people brought to Jesus all who were sick. He placed his hands on each one and healed them.
Also, demons came out of many people. The demons shouted, "You are the Son of God!" But he commanded them to be quiet. He would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Christ.
At dawn, Jesus went out to a place where he could be by himself. The people went to look for him. When they found him, they tried to keep him from leaving them.
But he said, "I must announce the good news of God's kingdom to the other towns also. That is why I was sent."
And he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.