Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.
After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.
The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread."
Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.' "5
Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple.
"If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written: " 'He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.' "
Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.' "8
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.
"All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me."
Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.' "11
Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he returned to Galilee.
Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali--
to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah:
"Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, along the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles--
the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned."
From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."
As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.
19"Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men."20
At once they left their nets and followed him.
Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them,
and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.
Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.
News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed, and he healed them.
Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him.
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert,
where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them 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 does not live on bread alone.' "5
The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world.
And he said to him, "I will give you all their authority and splendor, for 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 and serve him only.' "9
The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down from here.
For it is written: " 'He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully;
they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.' "
Jesus answered, "It says: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.' "13
When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.
Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside.
He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.
He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read.
The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
18"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed,19to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."20
Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him,
and he began by saying to them, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."22
All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. "Isn't this Joseph's son?" they asked.
Jesus said to them, "Surely you will quote this proverb to me: 'Physician, heal yourself ! Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.' "24"I tell you the truth," he continued, "no prophet is accepted in his hometown.25I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah's time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land.26Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon.27And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed--only Naaman the Syrian."28
All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this.
They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him down the cliff.
But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.
Then he went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and on the Sabbath began to teach the people.
They were amazed at his teaching, because his message had authority.
In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an evil spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice,
"Ha! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are--the Holy One of God!"
35"Be quiet!" Jesus said sternly. "Come out of him!" Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him.
All the people were amazed and said to each other, "What is this teaching? With authority and power he gives orders to evil spirits and they come out!"
And the news about him spread throughout the surrounding area.
Jesus left the synagogue and went to the home of Simon. Now Simon's mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Jesus to help her.
So he bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up at once and began to wait on them.
When the sun was setting, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them.
Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, "You are the Son of God!" But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Christ.
At daybreak Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them.
But he said, "I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent."44
And he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.
One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, with the people crowding around him and listening to the word of God,
he saw at the water's edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets.
He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch."5
Simon answered, "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets."
When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.
So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.
When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus' knees and said, "Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!"
For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken,
and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon's partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, "Don't be afraid; from now on you will catch men."11
So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.
While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, "Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean."
Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. "Be clean!" And immediately the leprosy left him.
Then Jesus ordered him, "Don't tell anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them."15
Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses.
But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
One day as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law, who had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem, were sitting there. And the power of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick.
Some men came carrying a paralytic on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus.
When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said, "Friend, your sins are forgiven."21
The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, "Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?"
Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, "Why are you thinking these things in your hearts?23Which is easier: to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up and walk'?24But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins . . ." He said to the paralyzed man, "I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home."25
Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God.
Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, "We have seen remarkable things today."
After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. "Follow me," Jesus said to him,
and Levi got up, left everything and followed him.
Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them.
But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, "Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and 'sinners'?"
Jesus answered them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.32I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."
They said to him, "John's disciples often fast and pray, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours go on eating and drinking."
Jesus answered, "Can you make the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them?35But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; in those days they will fast."36
He told them this parable: "No one tears a patch from a new garment and sews it on an old one. If he does, he will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old.37And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined.38No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins.39And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for he says, 'The old is better.' "
John testifies concerning him. He cries out, saying, "This was he of whom I said, 'He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.' "
From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another.
For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made him known.
Now this was John's testimony when the Jews of Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was.
He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, "I am not the Christ. "
They asked him, "Then who are you? Are you Elijah?" He said, "I am not." "Are you the Prophet?" He answered, "No."
Finally they said, "Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself ?"
John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, "I am the voice of one calling in the desert, 'Make straight the way for the Lord.' "
Now some Pharisees who had been sent
questioned him, "Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?"
"I baptize with water," John replied, "but among you stands one you do not know.
He is the one who comes after me, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie."
This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
This is the one I meant when I said, 'A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.'
I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel."
Then John gave this testimony: "I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him.
I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.'
I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God."
The next day John was there again with two of his disciples.
When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, "Look, the Lamb of God!"
When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus.
Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, "What do you want?" They said, "Rabbi" (which means Teacher), "where are you staying?"
39"Come," he replied, "and you will see." So they went and saw where he was staying, and spent that day with him. It was about the tenth hour.
Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus.
The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, "We have found the Messiah" (that is, the Christ).
And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, "You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas" (which, when translated, is Peter ).
The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, "Follow me."44
Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida.
Philip found Nathanael and told him, "We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote--Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."
"Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?" Nathanael asked. "Come and see," said Philip.
When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, "Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false."48
"How do you know me?" Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, "I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you."49
Then Nathanael declared, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel."
Jesus said, "You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You shall see greater things than that."51
He then added, "I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man."