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.
When He entered Capernaum again after some days, it was reported that He was at home.
So many people gathered together that there was no more room, not even in the doorway, and He was speaking the message to them.
Then they came to Him bringing a paralytic, carried by four men.
Since they were not able to bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above where He was. And when they had broken through, they lowered the stretcher on which the paralytic was lying.
Seeing their faith, Jesus told the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven."
But some of the scribes were sitting there, thinking to themselves:
"Why does He speak like this? He's blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?"
Right away Jesus understood in His spirit that they were reasoning like this within themselves and said to them, "Why are you reasoning these things in your hearts?
Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up, pick up your stretcher, and walk'?
But so you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins," He told the paralytic,
"I tell you: get up, pick up your stretcher, and go home."
Immediately he got up, picked up the stretcher, and went out in front of everyone. As a result, they were all astounded and gave glory to God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this!"
Then Jesus went out again beside the sea. The whole crowd was coming to Him, and He taught them.
Then, moving on, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax office, and He said to him, "Follow Me!" So he got up and followed Him.
While He was reclining at the table in Levi's house, many tax collectors and sinners were also guests with Jesus and His disciples, because there were many who were following Him.
When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that He was eating with sinners and tax collectors, they asked His disciples, "Why does He eat with tax collectors and sinners?"
When Jesus heard this, He told them, "Those who are well don't need a doctor, but the sick [do need one]. I didn't come to call the righteous, but sinners."
Now John's disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. People came and asked Him, "Why do John's disciples and the Pharisees' disciples fast, but Your disciples do not fast?"
Jesus said to them, "The wedding guests cannot fast while the groom is with them, can they? As long as they have the groom with them, they cannot fast.
But the time will come when the groom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day.
No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. Otherwise, the new patch pulls away from the old cloth, and a worse tear is made.
And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost as well as the skins. But new wine is for fresh wineskins."
On the Sabbath He was going through the grainfields, and His disciples began to make their way picking some heads of grain.
The Pharisees said to Him, "Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?"
He said to them, "Have you never read what David and those who were with him did when he was in need and hungry--
how he entered the house of God in the time of Abiathar the high priest and ate the sacred bread-- which is not lawful for anyone to eat except the priests-- and also gave some to his companions?"
Then He told them, "The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath.
Therefore the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath."
Now He entered the synagogue again, and a man was there who had a paralyzed hand.
In order to accuse Him, they were watching Him closely to see whether He would heal him on the Sabbath.
He told the man with the paralyzed hand, "Stand before us."
Then He said to them, "Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?" But they were silent.
After looking around at them with anger and sorrow at the hardness of their hearts, He told the man, "Stretch out your hand." So he stretched it out, and his hand was restored.
Immediately the Pharisees went out and started plotting with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him.
Jesus departed with His disciples to the sea, and a great multitude followed from Galilee, Judea,
Jerusalem, Idumea, beyond the Jordan, and around Tyre and Sidon. The great multitude came to Him because they heard about everything He was doing.
Then He told His disciples to have a small boat ready for Him, so the crowd would not crush Him.
Since He had healed many, all who had diseases were pressing toward Him to touch Him.
Whenever the unclean spirits saw Him, those possessed fell down before Him and cried out, "You are the Son of God!"
And He would strongly warn them not to make Him known.
Then He went up the mountain and summoned those He wanted, and they came to Him.
He also appointed 12-- He also named them apostles-- to be with Him, to send them out to preach,
and to have authority to drive out demons.
He appointed the Twelve: To Simon, He gave the name Peter;
and to James the son of Zebedee, and to his brother John, He gave the name "Boanerges" (that is, "Sons of Thunder");
Andrew; Philip and Bartholomew; Matthew and Thomas; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot,
and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him.
Then He went home, and the crowd gathered again so that they were not even able to eat.
When His family heard this, they set out to restrain Him, because they said, "He's out of His mind."
The scribes who had come down from Jerusalem said, "He has Beelzebul in Him!" and, "He drives out demons by the ruler of the demons!"
So He summoned them and spoke to them in parables: "How can Satan drive out Satan?
If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.
And if Satan rebels against himself and is divided, he cannot stand but is finished!
"On the other hand, no one can enter a strong man's house and rob his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he will rob his house.
I assure you: People will be forgiven for all sins and whatever blasphemies they may blaspheme.
But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin"--
because they were saying, "He has an unclean spirit."
Then His mother and His brothers came, and standing outside, they sent [word] to Him and called Him.
A crowd was sitting around Him and told Him, "Look, Your mother, Your brothers, and Your sisters are outside asking for You."
He replied to them, "Who are My mother and My brothers?"
And looking about at those who were sitting in a circle around Him, He said, "Here are My mother and My brothers!
Whoever does the will of God is My brother and sister and mother."