The Ministry of John the Baptist
“Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way,
3the voice of one shouting in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make his paths straight.’”
4In the wilderness John the baptizer began preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5People from the whole Judean countryside and all of Jerusalem were going out to him, and he was baptizing them in the Jordan River as they confessed their sins. 6John wore a garment made of camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7He proclaimed, “One more powerful than I am is coming after me; I am not worthy to bend down and untie the strap of his sandals. 8I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
The Baptism and Temptation of Jesus
9Now in those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan River. 10And just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens splitting apart and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11And a voice came from heaven: “You are my one dear Son; in you I take great delight.” 12The Spirit immediately drove him into the wilderness. 13He was in the wilderness forty days, enduring temptations from Satan. He was with wild animals, and angels were ministering to his needs.
Preaching in Galilee and the Call of the Disciples
14Now after John was imprisoned, Jesus went into Galilee and proclaimed the gospel of God. 15He said, “The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the gospel!” 16As he went along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew, Simon’s brother, casting a net into the sea (for they were fishermen). 17Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will turn you into fishers of people.” 18They left their nets immediately and followed him. 19Going on a little farther, he saw James, the son of Zebedee, and John his brother in their boat mending nets. 20Immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.
21Then they went to Capernaum. When the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. 22The people there were amazed by his teaching, because he taught them like one who had authority, not like the experts in the law. 23Just then there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit, and he cried out, 24“Leave us alone, Jesus the Nazarene! Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are – the Holy One of God!” 25But Jesus rebuked him: “Silence! Come out of him!” 26After throwing him into convulsions, the unclean spirit cried out with a loud voice and came out of him. 27They were all amazed so that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He even commands the unclean spirits and they obey him.” 28So the news about him spread quickly throughout all the region around Galilee.
Healings at Simon’s House
29Now as soon as they left the synagogue, they entered Simon and Andrew’s house, with James and John. 30Simon’s mother-in-law was lying down, sick with a fever, so they spoke to Jesus at once about her. 31He came and raised her up by gently taking her hand. Then the fever left her and she began to serve them. 32When it was evening, after sunset, they brought to him all who were sick and demon-possessed. 33The whole town gathered by the door. 34So 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.
Praying and Preaching
35Then Jesus got up early in the morning when it was still very dark, departed, and went out to a deserted place, and there he spent time in prayer. 36Simon and his companions searched for him. 37When they found him, they said, “Everyone is looking for you.” 38He replied, “Let us go elsewhere, into the surrounding villages, so that I can preach there too. For that is what I came out here to do.” 39So he went into all of Galilee preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.
Cleansing a Leper
40Now a leper came to him and fell to his knees, asking for help. “If you are willing, you can make me clean,” he said. 41Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing. Be clean!” 42The leprosy left him at once, and he was clean. 43Immediately Jesus sent the man away with a very strong warning. 44He told him, “See that you do not say anything to anyone, but go, show yourself to a priest, and bring the offering that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.” 45But as the man went out he began to announce it publicly and spread the story widely, so that Jesus was no longer able to enter any town openly but stayed outside in remote places. Still they kept coming to him from everywhere.