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Chapter 1

1The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ.

2As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,

“Here I send my messenger on before you;

He will prepare your way;

3Hark! Someone is shouting in the desert,

‘Get the Lord’s way ready,

Make his paths straight,’ ”

4John the baptizer appeared in the desert, and preached repentance and baptism in order to obtain the forgiveness of sins. 5And all Judea and everybody in Jerusalem went out to him there, and accepted baptism from him in the Jordan River, acknowledging their sins. 6John’s clothing was made of hair cloth, and the belt around his waist was leather, and he lived on dried locusts and wild honey. 7And this was his message:

“After me there is coming one stronger than I am, one whose shoes I am not fit to stoop down and untie. 8I have baptized you in water, but he will baptize you in the holy Spirit.”

9It was in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10And just as he was coming up out of the water he saw the heavens torn open and the Spirit coming down like a dove to enter into him, 11and out of the heavens came a voice:

“You are my Son, my Beloved! You are my Chosen!”

12The spirit immediately drove him out into the desert. 13And he remained in the desert for forty days, and Satan tried to tempt him there; and he was among the wild animals; but the angels waited on him.

14After John was arrested, Jesus went into Galilee proclaiming the good news from God, 15saying,

“The time has come and the reign of God is near; repent, and believe this good news.”

16As he was passing along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets in the sea, for they were fishermen. 17Jesus said to them,

“Come, follow me, and I will make you fish for men.”

18They immediately abandoned their nets and followed him. 19He went on a little farther and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John; they too were in their boat putting their nets in order. 20He immediately called them. And they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and went off after him.

21They proceeded to Capernaum, and on the very first Sabbath he went to the synagogue and taught. 22And they were amazed at his teaching, for he taught them like one who had authority, and not like the scribes. 23Just then there was in their synagogue a man under the control of a foul spirit, and he cried out,

24“What do you want of us, Jesus, you Nazarene? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, you are God’s holy One!”

25Jesus reproved him, and said,

“Silence! Get out of him!”

26The foul spirit convulsed the man and gave a loud cry and went out of him. 27And they were all so amazed that they discussed it with one another, and said,

“What does this mean? It is a new teaching! He gives orders with authority even to the foul spirits, and they obey him!”

28And his fame immediately spread in all directions through the whole neighborhood of Galilee.

29As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the house of Simon and Andrew.

30Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed, sick with a fever, and they immediately told him about her. 31And he went up to her, and grasping her hand, he made her rise. And the fever left her, and she waited on them.

32In the evening, after sunset, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed by demons, 33and the whole town was gathered at the door. 34And he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and drove out many demons, and he would not let the demons speak, because they knew that he was Christ.

35Early in the morning, long before daylight, he got up and left the house and went off to a lonely spot, and prayed there. 36And Simon and his companions sought him out 37and found him, and said to him,

“They are all looking for you!”

38He said to them,

“Let us go somewhere else, to the neighboring country towns, so that I may preach in them, too, for that is why I came out here.”

39So he went all through Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out the demons.

40There came to him a leper appealing to him on his knees, saying to him,

“If you only choose, you can cure me.”

41And he pitied him and stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him,

“I do choose! Be cured!”

42And the leprosy immediately left him, and he was cured. 43And Jesus immediately drove him away with stern injunctions, 44saying to him,

“See that you say nothing about this to anybody, but begone! show yourself to the priest, and in proof of your cure make the offerings for your purification which Moses prescribed.”

45But he went off and began to talk so much about it, and to spread the story so widely, that Jesus could no longer go into a town openly, but stayed out in unfrequented places, and people came to him from every direction.

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