5 One day as Jesus was preaching on the shore of the Sea of Galilee,[a] great crowds pressed in on him to listen to the word of God.2 He noticed two empty boats at the water’s edge, for the fishermen had left them and were washing their nets.3 Stepping into one of the boats, Jesus asked Simon,[b] its owner, to push it out into the water. So he sat in the boat and taught the crowds from there.
4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.”
5 “Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.”6 And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear!7 A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking.
8 When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m too much of a sinner to be around you.”9 For he was awestruck by the number of fish they had caught, as were the others with him.10 His partners, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were also amazed.
Jesus replied to Simon, “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!”11 And as soon as they landed, they left everything and followed Jesus.
Jesus Heals a Man with Leprosy
12 In one of the villages, Jesus met a man with an advanced case of leprosy. When the man saw Jesus, he bowed with his face to the ground, begging to be healed. “Lord,” he said, “if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean.”
13 Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” And instantly the leprosy disappeared.14 Then Jesus instructed him not to tell anyone what had happened. He said, “Go to the priest and let him examine you. Take along the offering required in the law of Moses for those who have been healed of leprosy.[c] This will be a public testimony that you have been cleansed.”
15 But despite Jesus’ instructions, the report of his power spread even faster, and vast crowds came to hear him preach and to be healed of their diseases.16 But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.
5:1Greek Lake Gennesaret, another name for the Sea of Galilee.
5:3Simon is called “Peter” in 6:14 and thereafter.