The Call of the Disciples
1 Now1 Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret,2 and the crowd was pressing around him3 to hear the word of God. 2 He4 saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gotten out of them and were washing their nets. 3 He got into5 one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little way from the shore. Then6 Jesus7 sat down8 and taught the crowds from the boat. 4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and lower9 your nets for a catch.” 5 Simon10 answered,11 “Master,12 we worked hard all night and caught nothing! But at your word13 I will lower14 the nets.” 6 When15 they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets started to tear.16 7 So17 they motioned18 to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they were about to sink.19 8 But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Go away from me, Lord,20 for I am a sinful man!”21 9 For22 Peter23 and all who were with him were astonished24 at the catch of fish that they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, Zebedee’s sons, who were Simon’s business partners.25 Then26 Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on27 you will be catching people.”28 11 So29 when they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed30 him.
Healing a Leper
12 While31 Jesus32 was in one of the towns,33 a man came34 to him who was covered with35 leprosy.36 When37 he saw Jesus, he bowed down with his face to the ground38 and begged him,39 “Lord, if40 you are willing, you can make me clean.” 13 So41 he stretched out his hand and touched42 him, saying, “I am willing. Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him. 14 Then43 he ordered the man44 to tell no one,45 but commanded him,46 “Go47 and show yourself to a priest, and bring the offering48 for your cleansing, as Moses commanded,49 as a testimony to them.”50 15 But the news about him spread even more,51 and large crowds were gathering together to hear him52 and to be healed of their illnesses. 16 Yet Jesus himself53 frequently withdrew54 to the wilderness55 and prayed.
Healing and Forgiving a Paralytic
17 Now on56 one of those days, while he was teaching, there were Pharisees57 and teachers of the law58 sitting nearby (who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem),59 and the power of the Lord was with him60 to heal. 18 Just then61 some men showed up, carrying a paralyzed man62 on a stretcher.63 They64 were trying to bring him in and place him before Jesus.65 19 But66 since they found67 no way to carry him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof68 and let him down on the stretcher69 through the roof tiles70 right71 in front of Jesus.72 20 When73 Jesus74 saw their75 faith he said, “Friend,76 your sins are forgiven.”77 21 Then78 the experts in the law79 and the Pharisees began to think80 to themselves,81 “Who is this man82 who is uttering blasphemies?83 Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 22 When Jesus perceived84 their hostile thoughts,85 he said to them,86 “Why are you raising objections87 within yourselves? 23 Which is easier,88 to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and walk’? 24 But so that you may know89 that the Son of Man90 has authority on earth to forgive sins” – he said to the paralyzed man91 – “I tell you, stand up, take your stretcher92 and go home.”93 25 Immediately94 he stood up before them, picked95 up the stretcher96 he had been lying on, and went home, glorifying97 God. 26 Then98 astonishment99 seized them all, and they glorified100 God. They were filled with awe,101 saying, “We have seen incredible102 things103 today.”104
The Call of Levi; Eating with Sinners
27 After105 this, Jesus106 went out and saw a tax collector107 named Levi108 sitting at the tax booth.109 “Follow me,”110 he said to him. 28 And he got up and followed him, leaving everything111 behind.112
29 Then113 Levi gave a great banquet114 in his house for Jesus,115 and there was a large crowd of tax collectors and others sitting116 at the table with them. 30 But117 the Pharisees118 and their experts in the law119 complained120 to his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”121 31 Jesus122 answered them, “Those who are well don’t need a physician, but those who are sick do.123 32 I have not come124 to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”125
The Superiority of the New
33 Then126 they said to him, “John’s127 disciples frequently fast128 and pray,129 and so do the disciples of the Pharisees,130 but yours continue to eat and drink.”131 34 So132 Jesus said to them, “You cannot make the wedding guests133 fast while the bridegroom134 is with them, can you?135 35 But those days are coming, and when the bridegroom is taken from them,136 at that time137 they will fast.” 36 He also told them a parable:138 “No one tears a patch from a new garment and sews139 it on an old garment. If he does, he will have torn140 the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old.141 37 And no one pours new wine into old wineskins.142 If he does, the new wine will burst the skins and will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. 38 Instead new wine must be poured into new wineskins.143 39 144 No145 one after drinking old wine wants the new, for he says, ‘The old is good enough.’”146