The Preparation1 The beginning of the good news about Jesus Christ. 2 It is said in the prophet Isaiah — ‘I am sending my messenger ahead of you;
he will prepare your way.
3 The voice of one crying aloud in the wilderness:
“Prepare the road for the Lord,
make a straight path for him.”’
4 John the Baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism on repentance, for the forgiveness of sins. 5 The whole of Judea, as well as all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, went out to him; and they were baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins.
6 John wore clothes made of camels’ hair, with a leather strap around his waist, and lived on locusts and wild honey; 7 and he proclaimed — “After me is coming someone more powerful than I am, and I am not fit even to stoop down and unfasten his sandals. 8 I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
9 Now about that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 Just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens split open and the Spirit coming down to him like a dove, 11 and from the heavens came a voice — “You are my dearly loved son; you bring me great joy.”
12 Immediately afterwards the Spirit drove Jesus out into the wilderness; 13 and he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and among the wild beasts, while the angels helped him.
The Work in Galilee14 After John had been arrested, Jesus went to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God — 15 “The time has come, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe the good news.” 16 As Jesus was going along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net in the Sea, for they were fishermen. 17 “Come and follow me,”Jesus said, “and I will teach you to fish for people.” 18 They left their nets at once, and followed him.
19 Going on a little further, he saw James, Zebedee’s son, and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20 Jesus called them at once, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the crew, and went after him.
21 They walked to Capernaum. On the next Sabbath Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. 22 The people were amazed at his teaching, for he taught them like one who had authority, and not like the teachers of the law. 23 Now there was in their synagogue at the time a man under the power of a foul spirit, who called out: 24 “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!” 25 But Jesus rebuked the spirit: “Be silent! Come out from him.” 26 The foul spirit threw the man into a fit, and with a loud cry came out from him. 27 They were all so amazed that they kept asking each other: “What is this? What is this strange teaching? He gives his commands with authority even to the foul spirits, and they obey him!” 28 His fame spread at once in all directions, through the whole neighborhood of Galilee.
29 As soon as they had left the synagogue, they went, with James and John, into the house of Simon and Andrew. 30 Now Simon’s mother-in-law was lying ill with a fever, and they at once told Jesus about her. 31 Jesus went up to her and, grasping her hand, raised her up; the fever left her, and she began to take care of them.
32 In the evening, after sunset, the people brought to Jesus all who were ill or possessed by demons; 33 and the whole city was gathered around the door. 34 Jesus cured many who were ill with various diseases, and drove out many demons, and would not permit them to speak, because they knew him to be the Christ.
35 In the morning, long before daylight, Jesus rose and went out, and, going to a lonely spot, there began to pray. 36 But Simon and his companions went out searching for him; 37 and, when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!” 38 But Jesus said to them: “Let us go somewhere else, into the country towns nearby so that I can make my proclamation in them also; for that was why I came.” 39 And he went about making his proclamation in their Synagogues all through Galilee, and driving out the demons.
40 One day a leper came to Jesus and, falling on his knees, begged him for help. “If only you are willing,” he said, “you are able to make me clean.” 41 Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying as he did so: “I am willing; become clean.” 42 Instantly the leprosy left the man, and he became clean; 43 and then Jesus, after sternly warning him, immediately sent him away, and said to him: 44 “Be careful not to say anything to anyone; but go and show yourself to the priest, and make the offerings for your cleansing directed by Moses, as evidence of your cure.” The man, however, went away, and began to speak about it publicly, and to spread the story so widely, that Jesus could no longer go openly into a town, but stayed outside in lonely places; and people came to him from every direction.
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