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The Bible in Living English
5 And while the crowd was pressing upon him and listening to the word of God, he was standing by the edge of the Lake of Gennesaret 2 and saw two boats standing at the water’s edge; but the fishermen had got out of them and were washing the nets. 3 And he got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land; and he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. 4 And when he stopped speaking he said to Simon “Put out to the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 And Simon answered “Master, we worked hard all night and got nothing; but at your word I will let down the nets.” 6 And they did this and enclosed a great number of fish, and their nets were tearing, 7 and they beckoned to their partners in the other boat to come and lend a hand; and they came, and filled both boats so that they were on the point of going to the bottom. 8 And at seeing it Simon Peter threw himself down at Jesus’s knees, saying “Take yourself away from me, because I am a sinful man, sir”; 9 for amazement had come over him and all who were with him at the haul of fish that they had caught, 10 and over James and John the sons of Zebedee too, who were in business with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon “Do not be afraid; henceforth you shall be catching men.” 11 And when they had brought their boats to land they left everything and followed him. 12 And while he was in one of the cities, there there appeared a man full of leprosy; and, seeing Jesus, he threw himself down on his face and implored him, saying “Sir, if you will you can cleanse me;” 13 And he reached out his hand and touched him, saying “I will; be cleansed”; and at once the leprosy went away from him. 14 And he instructed him not to tell anybody, but “go show yourself to the priest and make the offerings on account of your cleansing as Moses directed, for an attestation to them.” 15 But the talk about him spread all the more, and great crowds came together to hear and to be cured of their sicknesses; 16 but he kept out of the way in lonely places and prayed. 17 And on one of the days he was teaching, and there were Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting by who had come from every village in Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem, and there was power of the Lord for his healing, 18 and men arrived bringing on a couch a man who was paralyzed; and they tried to bring him in and lay him before him, 19* and, not finding any way to bring him in because of the crowd, they got up on the roof and let him down through the tiles, cot and all, into the middle before Jesus. 20 And, seeing their faith, he said “Man, you are forgiven for your sins.” 21 And the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, saying “Who is this that speaks blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God alone?” 22 But Jesus, recognizing their questionings, answered them “Why are you inwardly questioning? 23 which is easier, to say ‘you are forgiven for your sins’ or to say ‘rise and walk’? 24 But, that you may know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth—” said he to the paralyzed man, “I say to you, Rise, and take up your cot and go home.” 25 And immediately he stood up before them and took up what he had been lying on, and went off to his home glorifying God. 26 And surprise came over them one and all, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying “We have seen strange things today.” 27 And after this he went out and observed a customhouse officer, Levi by name, sitting in the customhouse office, and said to him “Follow me”; 28 and he left everything and rose and followed him. 29 And Levi gave a great banquet for him in his house: and there was a great crowd of customhouse officers and so on who were at the table with them, 30* and the Pharisees and their scribes complained to his disciples “Why do you eat and drink with customhouse officers and people of bad character?” 31 And Jesus answered them “Not the able-bodied, but the ill, need a physician; 32 I have not come to call saints, but sinners, to repentance.” 33 And they said to him “John’s disciples fast frequently and make prayers, and so do those of the Pharisees, but yours eat and drink.” 34 But Jesus said to them “Can you make the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? 35 but there will come days, and when the bridegroom is taken from them, then they will fast in those days.” 36 And he told them a parable too: “Nobody cuts a patch from a new cloak and sews it on an old cloak; if one does, he will be cutting the new one and the patch from the new one will not match the old one. 37 And nobody puts new wine in old skins; if one does, the new wine will burst the skins, and it will run out and the skins will be wasted; 38 but new wine is to be put in fresh skins. 39 And nobody when he has been drinking old wine wants new; for he says ‘The old is best.’”