The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: Look, I am sending My messenger ahead of You, who will prepare Your way.
A voice of one crying out in the wilderness: "Prepare the way for the Lord; make His paths straight!"
John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were flocking to him, and they were baptized by him in the Jordan River as they confessed their sins.
John wore a camel-hair garment with a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey.
He was preaching: "Someone more powerful than I will come after me. I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the strap of His sandals.
I have baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."
In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John.
As soon as He came up out of the water, He saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending to Him like a dove.
And a voice came from heaven: You are My beloved Son; I take delight in You!
Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness.
He was in the wilderness 40 days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and the angels began to serve Him.
After John was arrested, Jesus went to Galilee, preaching the good news of God:
"The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe in the good news!"
As He was passing along by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew, Simon's brother. They were casting a net into the sea, since they were fishermen.
"Follow Me," Jesus told them, "and I will make you fish for people!"
Immediately they left their nets and followed Him.
Going on a little farther, He saw James the son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in their boat mending their nets.
Immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed Him.
Then they went into Capernaum, and right away He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath and began to teach.
They were astonished at His teaching because, unlike the scribes, He was teaching them as one having authority.
Just then a man with an unclean spirit was in their synagogue. He cried out,
"What do You have to do with us, Jesus-Nazarene? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are-the Holy One of God!"
But Jesus rebuked him and said, "Be quiet, and come out of him!"
And the unclean spirit convulsed him, shouted with a loud voice, and came out of him.
Then they were all amazed, so they began to argue with one another, saying, "What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him."
His fame then spread throughout the entire vicinity of Galilee.
As soon as they left the synagogue, they went into Simon and Andrew's house with James and John.
Simon's mother-in-law was lying in bed with a fever, and they told Him about her at once.
So He went to her, took her by the hand, and raised her up. The fever left her, and she began to serve them.
When evening came, after the sun had set, they began bringing to Him all those who were sick and those who were demon-possessed.
The whole town was assembled at the door,
and He healed many who were sick with various diseases and drove out many demons. But He would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew Him.
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, He got up, went out, and made His way to a deserted place. And He was praying there.
Simon and his companions went searching for Him.
They found Him and said, "Everyone's looking for You!"
And He said to them, "Let's go on to the neighboring villages so that I may preach there too. This is why I have come."
So He went into all of Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.
Then a man with a serious skin disease came to Him and, on his knees, begged Him: "If You are willing, You can make me clean."
Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out His hand and touched him. "I am willing," He told him. "Be made clean."
Immediately the disease left him, and he was healed.
Then He sternly warned him and sent him away at once,
telling him, "See that you say nothing to anyone; but go and show yourself to the priest, and offer what Moses prescribed for your cleansing, as a testimony to them."
Yet he went out and began to proclaim it widely and to spread the news, with the result that Jesus could no longer enter a town openly. But He was out in deserted places, and they would come to Him from everywhere.
Holman Christian Standard Bible ® Copyright © 2003, 2002, 2000, 1999 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.