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Mark  ◦   Chapter 1

1The Remedy originated with Jesus Christ, God's Son.

2God's spokesman Isaiah wrote: "I will send my herald before you, who will prepare the people for your arrival.3A voice calling in a dark and desolate land: 'Prepare your minds, untwist your hearts, and make ready for the Lord to come with his healing Remedy.'"

4And so John arrived, immersing people in a desolate region, and preaching, "Immerse your minds into truth and love and turn away from lies and selfishness so that your sinful hearts can be healed."5From all over Judea and Jerusalem huge crowds of people flocked to John, and confessing their sinfulness, they were immersed by him in water in the Jordan River.6John was dressed in a camel hair cloak, tied with a leather belt and he ate locust and honey found in the wild.7He proclaimed, "The One coming after me is so awesome, I am not even worthy to tie his shoes.8I only immerse you in water, but he will immerse your minds and characters with the Holy Spirit."

9Then Jesus walked up, having come from Nazareth in Galilee and John immersed him in the Jordan.10As Jesus was stepping out of the river, he saw the fabric of reality torn open and the Holy Spirit come through, settled down upon him in the form of a dove.11And a voice from heaven was heard: "You are my Son, and I love you. You please me in every way."

12Immediately the Spirit directed him into the desert13to do battle with Satan and overcome his temptations. The battle lasted forty days, and he was alone in the wild with the animals, but angels watched over him.

14After John was imprisoned, Jesus went to Galilee and began preaching the good news about God's kingdom of love:15"Now is the time the prophets foretold for God's kingdom of love is being established on earth. Turn away from the selfishness of the world and believe the good news about God's kingdom of love!"

16When Jesus was walking on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers — Simon and Andrew, who were fishermen — casting their net in the lake.17Jesus called to them, "Come and follow me, and I will teach you how to fish people out of the sea of sorrow and sin and pull them into the kingdom of God!"18Without hesitation, they dropped their nets and followed Jesus.

19After walking a little farther down the coast, he saw two more fishermen brothers in a boat — James and John, the sons of Zebedee — getting their nets ready to cast.20Jesus called them to follow him and they left their father Zebedee in the boat along with some employees, and followed Jesus.

21Together they walked to Capernaum. On the Sabbath, Jesus went to church and began teaching.22What he taught thrilled their hearts and brought joy to their minds, because what he taught made sense, and had the authority of evidence and truth. He didn't teach like the theologians and church lawyers who talked in complicated theories and jargon, and often said things that didn't make sense.23As he was speaking a man in attendance, whose mind was controlled by evil forces, shouted out in a terrified voice:24"What do you want with us? Are you here to use your power to kill us? Don't try and pretend with me; I know who you are! You're the Holy Promised One sent here by God!"

25"Silence!" Jesus commanded; "Leave his mind now!"26The evil intelligence, in a last act of spite, caused the man to jerk violently and scream, but then left him.

27The people were stunned. With amazement, they began to whisper: "What's going on? Is this a new procedure, or a new method in dealing with evil forces that actually has power to work? He commands, and his words have such authority that even the evil intelligences obey him!"28Very quickly after that the news about Jesus spread over the entire region of Galilee.

29When they left church, the group, including James and John, went to the home of Simon and Andrew.30When they arrived, they discovered that Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a high fever, so they told Jesus about her.31He went to her, and when he touched her, the fever went away. She got up and began to wait on them.

32That evening after sunset, when the Sabbath was over, the people brought to Jesus all their sick and those who had surrendered their minds to the control of evil intelligences, fallen angels called demons.33The entire town crowded around the house,34and Jesus healed all their physical diseases. He also cleansed the minds of those controlled by demons, sending the demons away, but he would not allow the demons to speak, because they knew who he was.

35Before dawn, Jesus left the house and went to a quiet place to be alone and talk with his Father in heaven.36Simon and his friends searched for Jesus,37and when they found him, they reported, "The entire town is out looking for you!"

38Jesus said, "It's time we move on to another town so that I can tell them the good news as well; that is why I am here."39So he went from town to town, all through Galilee, preaching and teaching in their churches, and driving out evil forces.

40A desperate man, riddled with leprosy, fell down before Jesus begging, "Please, I know if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean."

41Jesus, his heart filled with tenderness and mercy, reached out and touched what others considered untouchable. As he touched the man, he said, "I am willing. Be clean!"42Instantly the leprosy disappeared, and the man was completely cured.

43As Jesus sent him away he gave him explicit instructions:44"Keep what I have done for you in confidence. But be sure you present yourself to the priests and offer the appropriate sacrifices for cleansing as Moses instructed, so you may be restored to full fellowship."45But he was so excited and overjoyed that rather than following Jesus’ instruction, he went out and told everyone whom he met on his way what Jesus did for him. As a result, Jesus couldn’t enter a town without being mobbed. So Jesus stayed outside the cities in the unpopulated places, but the people all over the region still found him.