Contemporary English Version
Jesus Chooses His First Disciples
1 Jesus was standing on the shore of Lake Gennesaret,+ teaching the people as they crowded around him to hear God's message. 2Near the shore he saw two boats left there by some fishermen who had gone to wash their nets. 3Jesus got into the boat that belonged to Simon and asked him to row it out a little way from the shore. Then Jesus sat down+ in the boat to teach the crowd.
4When Jesus had finished speaking, he told Simon, “Row the boat out into the deep water and let your nets down to catch some fish.”
5 “Master,” Simon answered, “we have worked hard all night long and have not caught a thing. But if you tell me to, I will let the nets down.” 6 They did this and caught so many fish that their nets began ripping apart. 7Then they signaled for their partners in the other boat to come and help them. The men came, and together they filled the two boats so full that they both began to sink.
8When Simon Peter saw this happen, he knelt down in front of Jesus and said, “Lord, don't come near me! I am a sinner.” 9Peter and everyone with him were completely surprised at all the fish they had caught. 10His partners James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were surprised too.
Jesus told Simon, “Don't be afraid! From now on you will bring in people instead of fish.” 11The men pulled their boats up on the shore. Then they left everything and went with Jesus.
Jesus Heals a Man
12Jesus came to a town where there was a man who had leprosy.+ When the man saw Jesus, he knelt down to the ground in front of Jesus and begged, “Lord, you have the power to make me well, if only you wanted to.”
13Jesus put his hand on him and said, “I want to! Now you are well.” At once the man's leprosy disappeared. 14 Jesus told him, “Don't tell anyone about this, but go and show yourself to the priest. Offer a gift to the priest, just as Moses commanded, and everyone will know that you have been healed.”+
15News about Jesus kept spreading. Large crowds came to listen to him teach and to be healed of their diseases. 16But Jesus would often go to some place where he could be alone and pray.
Jesus Heals a Man Who Could Not Walk
17One day some Pharisees and experts in the Law of Moses sat listening to Jesus teach. They had come from every village in Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem.
God had given Jesus the power to heal the sick, 18and some people came carrying a man on a mat because he could not walk. They tried to take him inside the house and put him in front of Jesus. 19But because of the crowd, they could not get him to Jesus. So they went up on the roof,+ where they removed some tiles and let the mat down in the middle of the room.
20When Jesus saw how much faith they had, he said to the man, “My friend, your sins are forgiven.”
21The Pharisees and the experts began arguing, “Jesus must think he is God! Only God can forgive sins.”
22Jesus knew what they were thinking, and he said, “Why are you thinking this? 23Is it easier for me to tell this man that his sins are forgiven or to tell him to get up and walk? 24But now you will see that the Son of Man has the right to forgive sins here on earth.” Jesus then said to the man, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk home.”
25At once the man stood up in front of everyone. He picked up his mat and went home, giving thanks to God. 26Everyone was amazed and praised God. What they saw surprised them, and they said, “We have seen a great miracle today!”
Jesus Chooses Levi
27Later, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector+ named Levi sitting at the place for paying taxes. Jesus said to him, “Follow me.” 28Levi left everything and went with Jesus.
29In his home Levi gave a big dinner for Jesus. Many tax collectors and other guests were also there.
31Jesus answered, “Healthy people don't need a doctor, but sick people do. 32I didn't come to invite good people to turn to God. I came to invite sinners.”
People Ask about Going without Eating
33Some people said to Jesus, “John's followers often pray and go without eating,+ and so do the followers of the Pharisees. But your disciples never go without eating or drinking.”
34Jesus told them, “The friends of a bridegroom don't go without eating while he is still with them. 35But the time will come when he will be taken from them. Then they will go without eating.”
36Jesus then told them these sayings:
No one uses a new piece of cloth to patch old clothes. The patch would shrink and make the hole even bigger.
37No one pours new wine into old wineskins. The new wine would swell and burst the old skins.+ Then the wine would be lost, and the skins would be ruined. 38New wine must be put only into new wineskins.
39No one wants new wine after drinking old wine. They say, “The old wine is better.”
Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)
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