Jesus saw a tax collector named Levi sitting in a tax office. Jesus said to him, “Follow me!” So Levi got up, left everything, and followed him. Levi held a large reception at his home for Jesus. A huge crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. The Pharisees and their experts in Moses’ Teachings complained to Jesus’ disciples. They asked, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus answered them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor; those who are sick do. I’ve come to call sinners to change the way they think and act, not to call people who think they have God’s approval.” GW



One day as he was teaching, Pharisees and religion teachers were sitting around. They had come from nearly every village in Galilee and Judea, even as far away as Jerusalem, to be there. The healing power of God was on him. Some men arrived carrying a paraplegic on a stretcher. They were looking for a way to get into the house and set him before Jesus. When they couldn’t find a way in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof, removed some tiles, and let him down in the middle of everyone, right in front of Jesus. Impressed by their bold belief, he said, “Friend, I forgive your sins.”
That set the religion scholars and Pharisees buzzing. “Who does he think he is? That’s blasphemous talk! God and only God can forgive sins.” Jesus knew exactly what they were thinking and said, “Why all this gossipy whispering? Which is simpler: to say ‘I forgive your sins,’ or to say ‘Get up and start walking’? Well, just so it’s clear that I’m the Son of Man and authorized to do either, or both. . . .” He now spoke directly to the paraplegic: “Get up. Take your bedroll and go home.” Without a moment’s hesitation, he did it—got up, took his blanket, and left for home, giving glory to God all the way. The people rubbed their eyes, incredulous—and then also gave glory to God. Awestruck, they said, “We’ve never seen anything like that!” MSG



One day in one of the villages there was a man covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus he fell down before him in prayer and said, “If you want to, you can cleanse me.” Jesus put out his hand, touched him, and said, “I want to. Be clean.” Then and there his skin was smooth, the leprosy gone. Jesus instructed him, “Don’t talk about this all over town. Just quietly present your healed self to the priest, along with the offering ordered by Moses. Your cleansed and obedient life, not your words, will bear witness to what I have done.” But the man couldn’t keep it to himself, and the word got out. Soon a large crowd of people had gathered to listen and be healed of their ailments. MSG



Once when Jesus was standing on the shore of Lake Gennesaret, the crowd was pushing in on him to better hear the Word of God. He noticed two boats tied up. The fishermen had just left them and were out scrubbing their nets. He climbed into the boat that was Simon’s and asked him to put out a little from the shore. Sitting there, using the boat for a pulpit, he taught the crowd.
When he finished teaching, he said to Simon, “Push out into deep water and let your nets out for a catch.” Simon said, “Master, we’ve been fishing hard all night and haven’t caught even a minnow. But if you say so, I’ll let out the nets.” It was no sooner said than done—a huge haul of fish, straining the nets past capacity.
They waved to their partners in the other boat to come help them. They filled both boats, nearly swamping them with the catch. Simon Peter, when he saw it, fell to his knees before Jesus. “Master, leave. I’m a sinner and can’t handle this holiness. Leave me to myself.” When they pulled in that catch of fish, awe overwhelmed Simon and everyone with him. It was the same with James and John, Zebedee’s sons, coworkers with Simon. Jesus said to Simon, “There is nothing to fear. From now on you’ll be fishing for men and women.” They pulled their boats up on the beach, left them, nets and all, and followed him. MSG



42 Early the following morning Jesus left to find some peace and quiet. But the crowds went out looking for him, and finally found him. They tried to stop him leaving because they did not want him to go. 43 But he told them, “I have to go to other towns to tell them the good news of the kingdom of God too, because that is what I was sent to do.” 44 So Jesus went on traveling around, teaching the good news in the synagogues of Judea.



38 Leaving the synagogue, Jesus went to Simon’s house. Simon’s mother-in-law was sick with a high fever and those who were there asked Jesus to help. 39 Jesus went and stood over her. He told the fever to leave her which it did. She got up right away and prepared a meal for them. 40 When the sun set, they brought to him all who were sick, suffering from various diseases. Jesus placed his hands on them, one after the other, and he healed them. 41 Demons came out of many people, shouting, “You are the Son of God.” But Jesus stopped them and refused to let them speak because they knew he was the Christ.



31 Jesus went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee. On Sabbath he started teaching them. 32 They were amazed at what he taught them for he spoke with authority.

33 In the synagogue there was a man who was possessed by a demon. He cried out, 34 “So, what do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are: God’s Holy One!” 35 Jesus interrupted him, saying. “Be quiet!” Then he ordered the demon, “Come out of him!” Throwing him to the ground right before them, the demon left the man without injuring him.

36 They were all amazed and asked each other, “What is this teaching? With power and authority he orders evil spirits to leave—and they do!” 37 News about Jesus spread throughout the region nearby.