The Preaching of John the Baptist
1 1 The good news of Jesus Christ - the Message! - begins here, 2 following to the letter the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Watch closely: I'm sending my preacher ahead of you; He'll make the road smooth for you. 3 Thunder in the desert! Prepare for God's arrival! Make the road smooth and straight! 4 John the Baptizer appeared in the wild, preaching a baptism of life-change that leads to forgiveness of sins. 5 People thronged to him from Judea and Jerusalem and, as they confessed their sins, were baptized by him in the Jordan River into a changed life. 6 John wore a camel-hair habit, tied at the waist with a leather belt. He ate locusts and wild field honey. 7 As he preached he said, "The real action comes next: The star in this drama, to whom I'm a mere stagehand, will change your life. 8 I'm baptizing you here in the river, turning your old life in for a kingdom life. His baptism - a holy baptism by the Holy Spirit - will change you from the inside out."
The Baptism of Jesus
9 At this time, Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 The moment he came out of the water, he saw the sky split open and God's Spirit, looking like a dove, come down on him. 11 Along with the Spirit, a voice: "You are my Son, chosen and marked by my love, pride of my life."
The Temptation of Jesus
Jesus Begins His Ministry
Jesus Calls Four Fishermen
16 Passing along the beach of Lake Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew net-fishing. Fishing was their regular work. 17 Jesus said to them, "Come with me. I'll make a new kind of fisherman out of you. I'll show you how to catch men and women instead of perch and bass." 18 They didn't ask questions. They dropped their nets and followed. 19 A dozen yards or so down the beach, he saw the brothers James and John, Zebedee's sons. They were in the boat, mending their fishnets. 20 Right off, he made the same offer. Immediately, they left their father Zebedee, the boat, and the hired hands, and followed.
A Man with an Unclean Spirit
21 Then they entered Capernaum. When the Sabbath arrived, Jesus lost no time in getting to the meeting place. He spent the day there teaching. 22 They were surprised at his teaching - so forthright, so confident - not quibbling and quoting like the religion scholars.