It happened that he was standing by the lake of Genesareth, at a time when the multitude was pressing close about him to hear the word of God; and he saw two boats moored at the edge of the lake; the fishermen had gone ashore, and were washing their nets. And he went on board one of the boats, which belonged to Simon, and asked him to stand off a little from the land; and so, sitting down, he began to teach the multitudes from the boat. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, Stand out into the deep water, and let down your nets for a catch. Simon answered him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and caught nothing; but at your word I will let down the net. And when they had done this, they took a great quantity of fish, so that the net was near breaking, and they must needs beckon to their partners who were in the other boat to come and help them. When these came, they filled both boats, so that they were ready to sink. At seeing this, Simon Peter fell down and caught Jesus by the knees; Leave me to myself, Lord, he said; I am a sinner. Such amazement had overcome both him and all his crew, at the catch of fish they had made; so it was, too, with James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were Simon's partners. But Jesus said to Simon, Do not be afraid; henceforth you shall be a fisher of men. So, when they had brought their boats to land, they left all and followed him.
Afterwards, while he was in one of the cities, he came upon a man who was far gone in leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell on his face in entreaty; Lord, he said, if it be your will, you have power to make me clean. And he stretched out his hand, and touched him, and said, It is my will; be made clean. Whereupon all at once his leprosy passed from him. And Jesus warned him not to tell anyone of it; Go and show yourself to the priest, he said, and bring an offering for your cleansing, as Moses commanded, to make the truth known to them. But still the talk of him spread more and more, and great multitudes came together to listen to him, and be healed of their infirmities. And he would steal away from them into the desert and pray there.
It chanced one day that he was teaching, and that some Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting by, who had come from every village in Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem; and the power of the Lord was there, to grant healing. Just then, some men brought there on a bed one who was palsied, whom they tried to carry in and set down in Jesus' presence. But, finding no way of carrying him in, because of the multitude, they went up on to the house-top, and let him down between the tiles, bed and all, into the clear space in front of Jesus. And he, seeing their faith, said, Man, your sins are forgiven you. Whereupon the Pharisees and scribes fell to reasoning thus, Who can this be, that he talks so blasphemously? Who can forgive sins but God and God only? Jesus knew of these secret thoughts of theirs, and said to them openly, Why do you reason thus in your hearts? Which command is more lightly given, to say, Your sins are forgiven you, or to say Rise up and walk? And now, to convince you that the Son of Man has power to forgive sins while he is on earth (here he spoke to the palsied man), I tell you, rise up, take your bed with you and go home. And he rose up at once in full sight of them, took up his bedding, and went home, giving praise to God. Astonishment came over them all, and they praised God, full of awe; We have seen strange things, they said, to-day.
Then he went out, and caught sight of a publican, called Levi, sitting at work in the customs house, and said to him, Follow me. And he rose up, and left all behind, and followed him. Then Levi made a great feast for him in his house, and there was a crowded company of publicans and others who were their fellow-guests. Whereupon the Pharisees and scribes complained to his disciples, How comes it that you eat and drink with publicans and sinners? But Jesus answered them, It is those who are sick, not those who are in health, that have need of the physician. I have not come to call the just; I have come to call sinners to repentance.
Then they said to him, How is it that your disciples eat and drink, when John's disciples are always fasting and praying, and the Pharisees' disciples too? And he said to them, Can you persuade the men of the bridegroom's company to fast, while the bridegroom is still with them? No, the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them; then they will fast, when that day comes. And he told them this parable; Nobody uses a piece taken from a new cloak to patch an old one; if that is done, he will have torn the new cloak, and the piece taken from the new will not match the old. Nor does anybody put new wine into old wine-skins; if that is done, the new wine bursts the skins, and there is the wine spilt and the skins spoiled. If the wine is new, it must be put into fresh wine-skins, and so both are kept safe. Nobody who has been drinking old wine calls all at once for new; he will tell you, The old is better.