Large crowds followed Jesus as he came down the mountainside.
Suddenly, a man with leprosy approached Jesus. He knelt before him, worshiping. "Lord," the man said, "if you want to, you can make me well again."
Jesus touched him. "I want to," he said. "Be healed!" And instantly the leprosy disappeared.
Then Jesus said to him, "Go right over to the priest and let him examine you. Don't talk to anyone along the way. Take along the offering required in the law of Moses for those who have been healed of leprosy, so everyone will have proof of your healing."5
When Jesus arrived in Capernaum, a Roman officer came and pleaded with him,
"Lord, my young servant lies in bed, paralyzed and racked with pain."
Jesus said, "I will come and heal him."8
Then the officer said, "Lord, I am not worthy to have you come into my home. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed!
I know, because I am under the authority of my superior officers and I have authority over my soldiers. I only need to say, 'Go,' and they go, or 'Come,' and they come. And if I say to my slaves, 'Do this or that,' they do it."
When Jesus heard this, he was amazed. Turning to the crowd, he said, "I tell you the truth, I haven't seen faith like this in all the land of Israel! 11And I tell you this, that many Gentiles will come from all over the world and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the feast in the Kingdom of Heaven.12But many Israelites -- those for whom the Kingdom was prepared -- will be cast into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."13
Then Jesus said to the Roman officer, "Go on home. What you have believed has happened." And the young servant was healed that same hour.
When Jesus arrived at Peter's house, Peter's mother-in-law was in bed with a high fever.
But when Jesus touched her hand, the fever left her. Then she got up and prepared a meal for him.
That evening many demon-possessed people were brought to Jesus. All the spirits fled when he commanded them to leave; and he healed all the sick.
This fulfilled the word of the Lord through Isaiah, who said, "He took our sicknesses and removed our diseases."
When Jesus noticed how large the crowd was growing, he instructed his disciples to cross to the other side of the lake.
Then one of the teachers of religious law said to him, "Teacher, I will follow you no matter where you go!"
But Jesus said, "Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but I, the Son of Man, have no home of my own, not even a place to lay my head."21
Another of his disciples said, "Lord, first let me return home and bury my father."
But Jesus told him, "Follow me now! Let those who are spiritually dead care for their own dead." 23
Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples.
Suddenly, a terrible storm came up, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.
The disciples went to him and woke him up, shouting, "Lord, save us! We're going to drown!"
And Jesus answered, "Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!" Then he stood up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly all was calm.
The disciples just sat there in awe. "Who is this?" they asked themselves. "Even the wind and waves obey him!"
When Jesus arrived on the other side of the lake in the land of the Gadarenes, two men who were possessed by demons met him. They lived in a cemetery and were so dangerous that no one could go through that area.
They began screaming at him, "Why are you bothering us, Son of God? You have no right to torture us before God's appointed time!"
A large herd of pigs was feeding in the distance,
so the demons begged, "If you cast us out, send us into that herd of pigs."
32"All right, go!" Jesus commanded them. So the demons came out of the men and entered the pigs, and the whole herd plunged down the steep hillside into the lake and drowned in the water.
The herdsmen fled to the nearby city, telling everyone what happened to the demon-possessed men.
The entire town came out to meet Jesus, but they begged him to go away and leave them alone.
Jesus climbed into a boat and went back across the lake to his own town.
Some people brought to him a paralyzed man on a mat. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, "Take heart, son! Your sins are forgiven."3
"Blasphemy! This man talks like he is God!" some of the teachers of religious law said among themselves.
Jesus knew what they were thinking, so he asked them, "Why are you thinking such evil thoughts? 5Is it easier to say, 'Your sins are forgiven' or 'Get up and walk'? 6I will prove that I, the Son of Man, have the authority on earth to forgive sins." Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, "Stand up, take your mat, and go on home, because you are healed!"7
And the man jumped up and went home!
Fear swept through the crowd as they saw this happen right before their eyes. They praised God for sending a man with such great authority.
As Jesus was going down the road, he saw Matthew sitting at his tax-collection booth. "Come, be my disciple," Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him.
That night Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to be his dinner guests, along with his fellow tax collectors and many other notorious sinners.
The Pharisees were indignant. "Why does your teacher eat with such scum ?" they asked his disciples.
When he heard this, Jesus replied, "Healthy people don't need a doctor -- sick people do." 13
Then he added, "Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: 'I want you to be merciful; I don't want your sacrifices.' For I have come to call sinners, not those who think they are already good enough."14
One day the disciples of John the Baptist came to Jesus and asked him, "Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples don't fast?"
Jesus responded, "Should the wedding guests mourn while celebrating with the groom? Someday he will be taken from them, and then they will fast. 16And who would patch an old garment with unshrunk cloth? For the patch shrinks and pulls away from the old cloth, leaving an even bigger hole than before. 17And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. The old skins would burst from the pressure, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine must be stored in new wineskins. That way both the wine and the wineskins are preserved."18
As Jesus was saying this, the leader of a synagogue came and knelt down before him. "My daughter has just died," he said, "but you can bring her back to life again if you just come and lay your hand upon her."
As Jesus and the disciples were going to the official's home,
a woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years came up behind him. She touched the fringe of his robe,
for she thought, "If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed."
Jesus turned around and said to her, "Daughter, be encouraged! Your faith has made you well." And the woman was healed at that moment.
When Jesus arrived at the official's home, he noticed the noisy crowds and heard the funeral music.
He said, "Go away, for the girl isn't dead; she's only asleep." But the crowd laughed at him.
When the crowd was finally outside, Jesus went in and took the girl by the hand, and she stood up!
The report of this miracle swept through the entire countryside.
After Jesus left the girl's home, two blind men followed along behind him, shouting, "Son of David, have mercy on us!"
They went right into the house where he was staying, and Jesus asked them, "Do you believe I can make you see?" "Yes, Lord," they told him, "we do."
Then he touched their eyes and said, "Because of your faith, it will happen." 30
And suddenly they could see! Jesus sternly warned them, "Don't tell anyone about this." 31
But instead, they spread his fame all over the region.
When they left, some people brought to him a man who couldn't speak because he was possessed by a demon.
So Jesus cast out the demon, and instantly the man could talk. The crowds marveled. "Nothing like this has ever happened in Israel!" they exclaimed.
But the Pharisees said, "He can cast out demons because he is empowered by the prince of demons."
Jesus traveled through all the cities and villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And wherever he went, he healed people of every sort of disease and illness.
He felt great pity for the crowds that came, because their problems were so great and they didn't know where to go for help. They were like sheep without a shepherd.
He said to his disciples, "The harvest is so great, but the workers are so few. 38So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send out more workers for his fields."
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)