1The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 2It is written in the prophet Isaiah: Look, I am going to send my messenger in front of you to prepare yourway before you. 3A voice of one that cries in the desert: Prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight. 4John the Baptist was in the desert, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5All Judaea and all the people of Jerusalem made their way to him, and as they were baptised by him inthe river Jordan they confessed their sins. 6John wore a garment of camel-skin, and he lived on locusts and wild honey. 7In the course of his preaching he said, 'After me is coming someone who is more powerful than me, andI am not fit to kneel down and undo the strap of his sandals. 8I have baptised you with water, but he wil baptise you with the Holy Spirit.' 9It was at this time that Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptised in the Jordan by John. 10And at once, as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit, likea dove, descending on him. 11And a voice came from heaven, 'You are my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on you.' 12And at once the Spirit drove him into the desert 13and he remained there for forty days, and was put to the test by Satan. He was with the wild animals,and the angels looked after him. 14After John had been arrested, Jesus went into Galilee. There he proclaimed the gospel from Godsaying, 15'The time is fulfil ed, and the kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent, and believe the gospel.' 16As he was walking along by the Lake of Galilee he saw Simon and Simon's brother Andrew casting anet in the lake -- for they were fishermen. 17And Jesus said to them, 'Come after me and I will make you into fishers of people.' 18And at once they left their nets and fol owed him. 19Going on a little further, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John; they too were in theirboat, mending the nets. 20At once he called them and, leaving their father Zebedee in the boat with the men he employed, theywent after him. 21They went as far as Capernaum, and at once on the Sabbath he went into the synagogue and beganto teach. 22And his teaching made a deep impression on them because, unlike the scribes, he taught them withauthority. 23And at once in their synagogue there was a man with an unclean spirit, and he shouted, 24'What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are:the Holy One of God.' 25But Jesus rebuked it saying, 'Be quiet! Come out of him!' 26And the unclean spirit threw the man into convulsions and with a loud cry went out of him. 27The people were so astonished that they started asking one another what it al meant, saying, 'Here isa teaching that is new, and with authority behind it: he gives orders even to unclean spirits and they obey him.' 28And his reputation at once spread everywhere, through all the surrounding Galilean countryside. 29And at once on leaving the synagogue, he went with James and John straight to the house of Simonand Andrew. 30Now Simon's mother-in-law was in bed and feverish, and at once they told him about her. 31He went in to her, took her by the hand and helped her up. And the fever left her and she began toserve them. 32That evening, after sunset, they brought to him all who were sick and those who were possessed bydevils. 33The whole town came crowding round the door, 34and he cured many who were sick with diseases of one kind or another; he also drove out manydevils, but he would not allow them to speak, because they knew who he was. 35In the morning, long before dawn, he got up and left the house and went off to a lonely place andprayed there. 36Simon and his companions set out in search of him, 37and when they found him they said, 'Everybody is looking for you.' 38He answered, 'Let us go elsewhere, to the neighbouring country towns, so that I can proclaim themessage there too, because that is why I came.' 39And he went all through Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out devils. 40A man suffering from a virulent skin-disease came to him and pleaded on his knees saying, 'If you arewil ing, you can cleanse me.' 41Feeling sorry for him, Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him and said to him, 'I am willing. Becleansed.' 42And at once the skin-disease left him and he was cleansed. 43And at once Jesus sternly sent him away and said to him, 44'Mind you tel no one anything, but go and show yourself to the priest, and make the offering for yourcleansing prescribed by Moses as evidence to them.' 45The man went away, but then started freely proclaiming and tel ing the story everywhere, so thatJesus could no longer go openly into any town, but stayed outside in deserted places. Even so, people from alaround kept coming to him.