Mark 1:1-28

John the Baptist Prepares the Way

This is the beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God. Long ago Isaiah the prophet wrote,

“I will send my messenger ahead of you.
    He will prepare your way.” (Malachi 3:1)
“A messenger is calling out in the desert,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord.
    Make straight paths for him.’ ” (Isaiah 40:3)

And so John the Baptist appeared in the desert. He preached that people should be baptized and turn away from their sins. Then God would forgive them. All the people from the countryside of Judea went out to him. All the people from Jerusalem went too. When they admitted they had sinned, John baptized them in the Jordan River. John wore clothes made out of camel’s hair. He had a leather belt around his waist. And he ate locusts and wild honey. Here is what John was preaching. “After me, there is someone coming who is more powerful than I am. I’m not good enough to bend down and untie his sandals. I baptize you with water. But he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

Jesus Is Baptized and Tempted

At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee. John baptized Jesus in the Jordan River. Jesus was coming up out of the water. Just then he saw heaven being torn open. Jesus saw the Holy Spirit coming down on him like a dove. A voice spoke to him from heaven. It said, “You are my Son, and I love you. I am very pleased with you.”

At once the Holy Spirit sent Jesus out into the desert. He was in the desert 40 days. There Satan tempted him. The wild animals didn’t harm Jesus. Angels took care of him.

Jesus Preaches the Good News

After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee. He preached the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Turn away from your sins and believe the good news!”

Jesus Chooses His First Disciples

One day Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee. There he saw Simon and his brother Andrew. They were throwing a net into the lake. They were fishermen. “Come and follow me,” Jesus said. “I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him.

Then Jesus walked a little farther. As he did, he saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They were in a boat preparing their nets. Right away he called out to them. They left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men. Then they followed Jesus.

Jesus Drives Out an Evil Spirit

Jesus and those with him went to Capernaum. When the Sabbath day came, he went into the synagogue. There he began to teach. The people were amazed at his teaching. That’s because he taught them like one who had authority. He did not talk like the teachers of the law. Just then a man in their synagogue cried out. He was controlled by an evil spirit. He said, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are. You are the Holy One of God!”

“Be quiet!” said Jesus firmly. “Come out of him!” The evil spirit shook the man wildly. Then it came out of him with a scream.

All the people were amazed. So they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching! And with so much authority! He even gives orders to evil spirits, and they obey him.” News about Jesus spread quickly all over Galilee.

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