1Now it happened that he was standing one day by the Lake of Gennesaret, with the crowd pressinground him listening to the word of God, 2when he caught sight of two boats at the water's edge. The fishermen had got out of them and werewashing their nets. 3He got into one of the boats -- it was Simon's -- and asked him to put out a little from the shore. Then hesat down and taught the crowds from the boat. 4When he had finished speaking he said to Simon, 'Put out into deep water and pay out your nets for acatch.' 5Simon replied, 'Master, we worked hard al night long and caught nothing, but if you say so, I wil payout the nets.' 6And when they had done this they netted such a huge number of fish that their nets began to tear, 7so they signal ed to their companions in the other boat to come and help them; when these came, theyfilled both boats to sinking point. 8When Simon Peter saw this he fel at the knees of Jesus saying, 'Leave me, Lord; I am a sinful man.' 9For he and all his companions were completely awestruck at the catch they had made; 10so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were Simon's partners. But Jesus said to Simon,'Do not be afraid; from now on it is people you wil be catching.' 11Then, bringing their boats back to land they left everything and fol owed him. 12Now it happened that Jesus was in one of the towns when suddenly a man appeared, covered with askin-disease. Seeing Jesus he fel on his face and implored him saying, 'Sir, if you are wil ing you can cleanseme.' 13He stretched out his hand, and touched him saying, 'I am wil ing. Be cleansed.' At once the skin-disease left him. 14He ordered him to tell no one, 'But go and show yourself to the priest and make the offering for yourcleansing just as Moses prescribed, as evidence to them.' 15But the news of him kept spreading, and large crowds would gather to hear him and to have theiril nesses cured, 16but he would go off to some deserted place and pray. 17Now it happened that he was teaching one day, and Pharisees and teachers of the Law, who hadcome from every vil age in Galilee, from Judaea and from Jerusalem, were sitting there. And the power of theLord was there so that he should heal. 18And now some men appeared, bringing on a bed a paralysed man whom they were trying to bring inand lay down in front of him. 19But as they could find no way of getting the man through the crowd, they went up onto the top of thehouse and lowered him and his stretcher down through the tiles into the middle of the gathering, in front ofJesus. 20Seeing their faith he said, 'My friend, your sins are forgiven you.' 21The scribes and the Pharisees began to think this over. 'Who is this man, talking blasphemy? Who butGod alone can forgive sins?' 22But Jesus, aware of their thoughts, made them this reply, 'What are these thoughts you have in yourhearts? 23Which of these is easier: to say, "Your sins are forgiven you," or to say, "Get up and walk"? 24But to prove to you that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins,' -- he said to theparalysed man-'I order you: get up, and pick up your stretcher and go home.' 25And immediately before their very eyes he got up, picked up what he had been lying on and wenthome praising God. 26They were all astounded and praised God and were fil ed with awe, saying, 'We have seen strangethings today.' 27When he went out after this, he noticed a tax collector, Levi by name, sitting at the tax office, and saidto him, 'Fol ow me.' 28And leaving everything Levi got up and fol owed him. 29In his honour Levi held a great reception in his house, and with them at table was a large gathering oftax col ectors and others. 30The Pharisees and their scribes complained to his disciples and said, 'Why do you eat and drink withtax col ectors and sinners?' 31Jesus said to them in reply, 'It is not those that are wel who need the doctor, but the sick. 32I have come to cal not the upright but sinners to repentance.' 33They then said to him, 'John's disciples are always fasting and saying prayers, and the disciples of thePharisees, too, but yours go on eating and drinking.' 34Jesus replied, 'Surely you cannot make the bridegroom's attendants fast while the bridegroom is stillwith them? 35But the time wil come when the bridegroom is taken away from them; then, in those days, they wilfast.' 36He also told them a parable, 'No one tears a piece from a new cloak to put it on an old cloak;otherwise, not only wil the new one be torn, but the piece taken from the new wil not match the old. 37'And nobody puts new wine in old wineskins; otherwise, the new wine wil burst the skins and run towaste, and the skins wil be ruined. 38No; new wine must be put in fresh skins. 39And nobody who has been drinking old wine wants new. "The old is good," he says.'
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