Jesus Chooses Some Followers
(Matthew 4:18-22; Mark 1:16-20)
As Jesus stood beside Lake Galilee,* Galilee Literally, “Gennesaret.” a crowd of people pushed to get closer to him and to hear the teachings of God. Jesus saw two boats at the shore of the lake. The fishermen were washing their nets. Jesus got into the boat that belonged to Simon. He asked Simon to push off a little from the shore. Then he sat down in the boat and taught the people on the shore.
When Jesus finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Take the boat into the deep water. If all of you will put your nets into the water, you will catch some fish.”
Simon answered, “Master, we worked hard all night trying to catch fish and caught nothing. But you say I should put the nets into the water, so I will.” The fishermen put their nets into the water. Their nets were filled with so many fish that they began to break. They called to their friends in the other boat to come and help them. The friends came, and both boats were filled so full of fish that they were almost sinking.
8-9 The fishermen were all amazed at the many fish they caught. When Simon Peter saw this, he bowed down before Jesus and said, “Go away from me, Lord. I am a sinful man!” 10 James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were amazed too. (James and John worked together with Simon.)
Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid. From now on your work will be to bring in people, not fish!”
11 The men brought their boats to the shore. They left everything and followed Jesus.
Jesus Heals a Sick Man
(Matthew 8:1-4; Mark 1:40-45)
12 One time Jesus was in a town where a very sick man lived. This man was covered with leprosy. When the man saw Jesus, he bowed before Jesus and begged him, “Lord, you have the power to heal me if you want.”
13 Jesus said, “I want to heal you. Be healed!” Then he touched the man, and immediately the leprosy disappeared. 14 Then Jesus said, “Don’t tell anyone about what happened. But go and let the priest look at you. let the priest look at you The Law of Moses said a priest must decide when a person with leprosy was well. And offer a gift to God for your healing as Moses commanded. This will show people that you are healed.”
15 But the news about Jesus spread more and more. Many people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. 16 Jesus often went away to other places to be alone so that he could pray.
Jesus Heals a Crippled Man
(Matthew 9:1-8; Mark 2:1-12)
17 One day Jesus was teaching the people. The Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there too. They had come from every town in Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem. The Lord was giving Jesus the power to heal people. 18 There was a man who was paralyzed, and some other men were carrying him on a mat. They tried to bring him and put him down before Jesus. 19 But there were so many people that they could not find a way to Jesus. So they went up on the roof and lowered the crippled man down through a hole in the ceiling. They lowered the mat into the room so that the crippled man was lying before Jesus. 20 Jesus saw how much faith they had and said to the sick man, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”
21 The Jewish teachers of the law and the Pharisees thought to themselves, “Who is this man who dares to say such things? What an insult to God! No one but God can forgive sins.”
22 But Jesus knew what they were thinking and said, “Why do you have these questions in your minds? 23-24 The Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins. But how can I prove this to you? Maybe you are thinking it was easy for me to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’ There’s no proof that it really happened. But what if I say to the man, ‘Stand up and walk’? Then you will be able to see that I really have this power.” So Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, stand up! Take your mat and go home!”
25 The man immediately stood up in front of everyone. He picked up his mat and walked home, praising God. 26 Everyone was completely amazed and began to praise God. They were filled with great respect for God’s power. They said, “Today we saw amazing things!”
Levi (Matthew) Follows Jesus
(Matthew 9:9-13; Mark 2:13-17)
27 After this Jesus went out and saw a tax collector sitting at his place for collecting taxes. His name was Levi. Jesus said to him, “Follow me!” 28 Levi got up, left everything, and followed Jesus.
29 Then Levi gave a big dinner at his house for Jesus. At the table there were many tax collectors and some other people too. 30 But the Pharisees and those who taught the law for the Pharisees began to complain to the followers of Jesus, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and other sinners?”
31 Jesus answered them, “It is the sick people who need a doctor, not those who are healthy. 32 I have not come to ask good people to change. I have come to ask sinners to change the way they live.”
Jesus Is Not Like
Other Religious Leaders
(Matthew 9:14-17; Mark 2:18-22)
33 They said to Jesus, “John’s followers often fast and pray, the same as the followers of the Pharisees. But your followers eat and drink all the time.”
34 Jesus said to them, “At a wedding you can’t ask the friends of the bridegroom to be sad and fast while he is still with them. 35 But the time will come when the groom will be taken away from them. Then his friends will fast.”
36 Jesus told them this story: “No one takes cloth off a new coat to cover a hole in an old coat. That would ruin the new coat, and the cloth from the new coat would not be the same as the old cloth. 37 Also, no one ever pours new wine into old wineskins. The new wine would break them. The wine would spill out, and the wineskins would be ruined. 38 You always put new wine into new wineskins. 39 No one who drinks old wine wants new wine. They say, ‘The old wine is just fine.’ ”

*5:1 Galilee Literally, “Gennesaret.”

5:14 let the priest look at you The Law of Moses said a priest must decide when a person with leprosy was well.