The time has come

The beginning of the good news about Jesus Christ – as the prophet Isaiah had written: “Look! I’m sending my messenger ahead of you and he will prepare the way. His is the voice heard crying in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way of the Lord! Make the path straight for him!’”

Thus John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness and preached that people should be baptized to show their repentance and ask for the forgiveness of their sins. All the people of Judea, including those living in Jerusalem, went out to hear him and, confessing their sins, they were baptized in the River Jordan.

John’s clothing was made of camel-hair and he had a leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts and wild honey, and his message was: “Someone will come after me who is more powerful than I am. In fact, I’m not even worthy enough to stoop down and untie the straps of his sandals. I’m baptizing you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit!”

Then Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the River Jordan. As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens open and the Holy Spirit descending on him like a dove. Then a voice came from heaven saying, “You are my beloved Son. With you I am well pleased.”

Then the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness, where he was tempted by Satan for forty days. He lived among wild animals, and the angels took care of him.

Later, after John had been arrested and imprisoned, Jesus went into Galilee, where he began to preach the good news.

“The time has come!” he declared. “The kingdom of God has come near! Repent and believe the good news!”

As Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they made a living by fishing.

“Come and follow me,” he said, “and I will send you out to fish for people!” So they left their nets at once and followed him.

A little further along the shore, Jesus saw Zebedee’s sons, James and John, working in a boat preparing their nets. Immediately he called them, and left Zebedee in the boat with his hired men and followed him.

Jesus, together with his disciples, visited the town of Capernaum and, on the Sabbath, he entered the synagogue and began to teach. The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught with authority—quite unlike the teachers of the law. Suddenly, a man in the synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit began shouting, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”

“Be quiet!” ordered Jesus. “Come out of him.” At that, the evil spirit shrieked, threw the man into a convulsion and came out.

Amazement gripped the people, and they began to ask each other, “What’s going on? Is this some new teaching? With authority he gives orders  and even the evil spirits obey him!”

Then the news about him began to spread quickly throughout the whole region of Galilee.

Mark

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