John Prepares for Jesus(A)
1 This is the beginning of the ·Good News [Gospel] ·about [of] Jesus Christ, the Son of God,[a] 2 as the prophet Isaiah wrote:
“[Look; T Behold,] I ·will send [am sending] my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way [Mal. 3:1].”
3 “This is a voice of one
who ·calls out [shouts; cries out] in the ·desert [wilderness]:
‘Prepare the way for the Lord.
Make ·the road straight [a clear path] for him [Is. 40:3].’”
4 John [C the Baptist] was baptizing people in the ·desert [wilderness] and preaching a baptism of ·changed hearts and lives [turning from sin; repentance] for the ·forgiveness [remission] of sins. 5 All the people from Judea and Jerusalem were going out to him. They confessed their sins and were baptized by him in the Jordan River. 6 John wore clothes made from camel’s hair, had a leather belt around his waist [C reminiscent of the prophet Elijah; 2 Kin. 1:8], and ate locusts and wild honey [C signifies living off the land]. 7 This is what John preached to the people: “There is one coming after me who is ·greater [mightier; more powerful] than I; I am not ·good enough [fit; qualified] even to kneel down and untie [L the thong/strap of] his sandals [C a task of a servant or slave]. 8 I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
Jesus Is Baptized and Tested(B)
9 ·At that time [In those days] Jesus came from the town of Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan River. 10 Immediately, as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw ·heaven [the sky] ·open [split open]. The ·Holy Spirit [L Spirit] ·came down [descended] on him like a dove [C either in the form of a dove, or in bird-like descent], 11 and a voice came from heaven: “You are my ·Son, whom I love [dearly beloved Son; Ps. 2:7; Gen. 22:2], ·and I am very pleased with you [in whom I take great delight; Is. 42:1].”
12 ·Then [Immediately] the Spirit ·sent [drove; compelled] Jesus into the ·desert [wilderness]. 13 He was in the ·desert [wilderness] forty days [C analogous to Israel’s forty years] and was ·tempted [or tested] by Satan [C as both Adam and Eve and the nation Israel in the wilderness were tempted, but failed]. He was with the wild animals [C dangerous or perhaps Eden-like conditions], and the angels came and ·took care of [served; ministered to] him.
Jesus Announces the Good News(C)
14 After John was put in prison [C by Herod Antipas; cf. 6:14–29], Jesus went into Galilee, preaching the ·Good News [Gospel] ·from [about] God. 15 He said, “The ·right time has come [L time is fulfilled]. ·The kingdom of God [God’s sovereign rule] is ·near [at hand]. ·Change your hearts and lives [Turn from your sins; Repent] and believe the ·Good News [Gospel]!”
Jesus Chooses His First Followers(D)
16 When Jesus was walking by ·Lake Galilee [T the Sea of Galilee], he saw Simon [C Peter; cf. 3:16] and his brother Andrew ·throwing [casting] a net into the lake because they were fishermen. 17 Jesus said to them, “Come ·follow me [be my disciples], and I will ·make you [teach you how to] fish for people.” 18 So Simon and Andrew immediately left their nets and followed him.
19 Going a little farther, Jesus saw two more brothers, ·James and John, the sons of Zebedee [L James the son of Zebedee, and his brother John]. They were in a boat, ·mending [preparing] their nets. 20 Jesus immediately called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired workers and followed Jesus.
Jesus Forces Out an Evil Spirit(E)
21 Jesus and his ·followers [disciples] went to Capernaum [C a town on the northwest shore of Lake Galilee; it became Jesus’ home base]. On the Sabbath day he went to the synagogue and began to teach. 22 The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught ·like [as] a person who had authority, not ·like [as] ·their teachers of the law [the scribes; C experts in the law of Moses]. 23 Just then, a man was there in the synagogue who had an ·evil [defiling; L unclean] spirit in him. [C Demons were viewed as “unclean” or defiling spirit-beings.] He shouted, 24 “Jesus ·of Nazareth [the Nazarene]! ·What do you want with us? [Let us alone!; What business do we have with each other? L What to us and to you?] Did you come to destroy us? I know who you are—God’s Holy One!”
25 Jesus ·commanded [reprimanded; rebuked] the evil spirit, “Be quiet! Come out of the man!” 26 The ·evil [defiling; L unclean] spirit ·shook the man violently [threw him into convulsions], gave a ·loud cry [shriek], and then came out of him.
27 The people were [L all] so amazed they asked each other, “What is happening here? This man is teaching something new, and with authority. He even gives ·commands [orders] to ·evil [defiling; L unclean; v. 23] spirits, and they obey him.” 28 And the ·news [report; fame] about Jesus spread quickly everywhere in the area of Galilee.
Jesus Heals Many People(F)
29 As soon as Jesus and his ·followers [disciples] left the synagogue, they went to the home of Simon [C Peter; 3:16] and Andrew, together with James and John. 30 Simon’s mother-in-law was sick in bed with a fever, and ·the people [L they; C either the people or the disciples] told Jesus about her. 31 So Jesus went to her bed, took her hand, and ·helped [raised] her up. The fever left her, and she began ·serving them [waiting on them; C presumably meal preparation].
32 That evening, after the sun went down, the people brought to Jesus all who were sick and ·had demons in them [were demon-possessed]. 33 The whole town gathered at the door. 34 Jesus healed many who had different kinds of sicknesses, and he ·forced many demons to leave people [L drove/cast out many demons]. But he would not allow the demons to speak, because they knew who he was. [C They knew he was the Messiah; Jesus wanted to avoid premature publicity.]
35 [Very] Early the next morning, while it was still dark, Jesus ·woke [got up] and left the house. He went to a ·lonely [isolated; deserted] place, where he prayed. 36 Simon and his ·friends [companions] went to look for Jesus. 37 When they found him, they said, “Everyone is looking for you!”
38 Jesus answered, “·We should [Let us] go to other towns around here so I can preach there too. That is the reason I came.” 39 So he went everywhere in Galilee, preaching in the synagogues and ·forcing [driving; casting] out demons.
Jesus Heals a Sick Man(G)
40 A man with ·a skin disease [T leprosy; C the term does not refer to modern leprosy (Hansen’s disease), but to various skin disorders; Lev. 14] came to Jesus. He fell to his knees and begged Jesus, “You can ·heal me [L make me clean; C leprosy rendered a person ceremonially defiled (“unclean”), and so unable to participate in Israel’s religious life] if you ·will [are willing; want to].”
41 Jesus felt ·sorry[b] [compassion] for the man, so he reached out his hand and touched him and said, “I ·will [am willing; want to]. Be ·healed [L cleansed]!” 42 Immediately the ·disease [T leprosy] left the man, and he was ·healed [L cleansed].
43 Jesus told the man to go away at once, but he warned him strongly, 44 “Don’t tell anyone about this. But go and show yourself to the priest. And offer the ·gift [offering; sacrifices] Moses commanded for ·people who are made well [L your cleansing; Lev. 14:1–32]. This will ·show the people [be a public testimony to; be evidence for] what I have done.” 45 The man left there, but he began to tell everyone that Jesus had healed him, and so he spread ·the news about Jesus [L the message/word]. As a result, Jesus could not enter a town ·if people saw him [publicly]. He stayed in ·places where nobody lived [secluded/deserted places], but people ·came [kept coming] to him from everywhere.