1While Moses was on Mount Sinai, the LORD said to him,
2"Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. When you have entered the land I am giving you, the land itself must observe a Sabbath rest before the LORD every seventh year.
3For six years you may plant your fields and prune your vineyards and harvest your crops,
4but during the seventh year the land must have a Sabbath year of complete rest. It is the LORD's Sabbath. Do not plant your fields or prune your vineyards during that year.
5And don't store away the crops that grow on their own or gather the grapes from your unpruned vines. The land must have a year of complete rest.
6But you may eat whatever the land produces on its own during its Sabbath. This applies to you, your male and female servants, your hired workers, and the temporary residents who live with you.
7Your livestock and the wild animals in your land will also be allowed to eat what the land produces.
8"In addition, you must count off seven Sabbath years, seven sets of seven years, adding up to forty-nine years in all.
9Then on the Day of Atonement in the fiftieth year,* blow the ram's horn loud and long throughout the land.
10Set this year apart as holy, a time to proclaim freedom throughout the land for all who live there. It will be a jubilee year for you, when each of you may return to the land that belonged to your ancestors and return to your own clan.
11This fiftieth year will be a jubilee for you. During that year you must not plant your fields or store away any of the crops that grow on their own, and don't gather the grapes from your unpruned vines.
12It will be a jubilee year for you, and you must keep it holy. But you may eat whatever the land produces on its own.
13In the Year of Jubilee each of you may return to the land that belonged to your ancestors.
14"When you make an agreement with your neighbor to buy or sell property, you must not take advantage of each other.
15When you buy land from your neighbor, the price you pay must be based on the number of years since the last jubilee. The seller must set the price by taking into account the number of years remaining until the next Year of Jubilee.
16The more years until the next jubilee, the higher the price; the fewer years, the lower the price. After all, the person selling the land is actually selling you a certain number of harvests.
17Show your fear of God by not taking advantage of each other. I am the LORD your God.
18"If you want to live securely in the land, follow my decrees and obey my regulations.
19Then the land will yield large crops, and you will eat your fill and live securely in it.
20But you might ask, `What will we eat during the seventh year, since we are not allowed to plant or harvest crops that year?'
21Be assured that I will send my blessing for you in the sixth year, so the land will produce a crop large enough for three years.
22When you plant your fields in the eighth year, you will still be eating from the large crop of the sixth year. In fact, you will still be eating from that large crop when the new crop is harvested in the ninth year.
23"The land must never be sold on a permanent basis, for the land belongs to me. You are only foreigners and tenant farmers working for me.
24"With every purchase of land you must grant the seller the right to buy it back.
25If one of your fellow Israelites falls into poverty and is forced to sell some family land, then a close relative should buy it back for him.
26If there is no close relative to buy the land, but the person who sold it gets enough money to buy it back,
27he then has the right to redeem it from the one who bought it. The price of the land will be discounted according to the number of years until the next Year of Jubilee. In this way the original owner can then return to the land.
28But if the original owner cannot afford to buy back the land, it will remain with the new owner until the next Year of Jubilee. In the jubilee year, the land must be returned to the original owners so they can return to their family land.
29"Anyone who sells a house inside a walled town has the right to buy it back for a full year after its sale. During that year, the seller retains the right to buy it back.
30But if it is not bought back within a year, the sale of the house within the walled town cannot be reversed. It will become the permanent property of the buyer. It will not be returned to the original owner in the Year of Jubilee.
31But a house in a village—a settlement without fortified walls—will be treated like property in the countryside. Such a house may be bought back at any time, and it must be returned to the original owner in the Year of Jubilee.
32"The Levites always have the right to buy back a house they have sold within the towns allotted to them.
33And any property that is sold by the Levites—all houses within the Levitical towns—must be returned in the Year of Jubilee. After all, the houses in the towns reserved for the Levites are the only property they own in all Israel.
34The open pastureland around the Levitical towns may never be sold. It is their permanent possession.
35"If one of your fellow Israelites falls into poverty and cannot support himself, support him as you would a foreigner or a temporary resident and allow him to live with you.
36Do not charge interest or make a profit at his expense. Instead, show your fear of God by letting him live with you as your relative.
37Remember, do not charge interest on money you lend him or make a profit on food you sell him.
38I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan and to be your God.
39"If one of your fellow Israelites falls into poverty and is forced to sell himself to you, do not treat him as a slave.
40Treat him instead as a hired worker or as a temporary resident who lives with you, and he will serve you only until the Year of Jubilee.
41At that time he and his children will no longer be obligated to you, and they will return to their clans and go back to the land originally allotted to their ancestors.
42The people of Israel are my servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt, so they must never be sold as slaves.
43Show your fear of God by not treating them harshly.
44"However, you may purchase male and female slaves from among the nations around you.
45You may also purchase the children of temporary residents who live among you, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property,
46passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat them as slaves, but you must never treat your fellow Israelites this way.
47"Suppose a foreigner or temporary resident becomes rich while living among you. If any of your fellow Israelites fall into poverty and are forced to sell themselves to such a foreigner or to a member of his family,
48they still retain the right to be bought back, even after they have been purchased. They may be bought back by a brother,
49an uncle, or a cousin. In fact, anyone from the extended family may buy them back. They may also redeem themselves if they have prospered.
50They will negotiate the price of their freedom with the person who bought them. The price will be based on the number of years from the time they were sold until the next Year of Jubilee—whatever it would cost to hire a worker for that period of time.
51If many years still remain until the jubilee, they will repay the proper proportion of what they received when they sold themselves.
52If only a few years remain until the Year of Jubilee, they will repay a small amount for their redemption.
53The foreigner must treat them as workers hired on a yearly basis. You must not allow a foreigner to treat any of your fellow Israelites harshly.
54If any Israelites have not been bought back by the time the Year of Jubilee arrives, they and their children must be set free at that time.
55For the people of Israel belong to me. They are my servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.
1This is the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God.* It began
2just as the prophet Isaiah had written:
"Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
and he will prepare your way.*
3He is a voice shouting in the wilderness,
`Prepare the way for the LORD's coming!
Clear the road for him!'*"
4This messenger was John the Baptist. He was in the wilderness and preached that people should be baptized to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven.
5All of Judea, including all the people of Jerusalem, went out to see and hear John. And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River.
6His clothes were woven from coarse camel hair, and he wore a leather belt around his waist. For food he ate locusts and wild honey.
7John announced: "Someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I'm not even worthy to stoop down like a slave and untie the straps of his sandals.
8I baptize you with* water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit!"
9One day Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and John baptized him in the Jordan River.
10As Jesus came up out of the water, he saw the heavens splitting apart and the Holy Spirit descending on him* like a dove.
11And a voice from heaven said, "You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy."
12The Spirit then compelled Jesus to go into the wilderness,
13where he was tempted by Satan for forty days. He was out among the wild animals, and angels took care of him.
14Later on, after John was arrested, Jesus went into Galilee, where he preached God's Good News.*
15"The time promised by God has come at last!" he announced. "The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!"
16One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon* and his brother Andrew throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living.
17Jesus called out to them, "Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!"
18And they left their nets at once and followed him.
19A little farther up the shore Jesus saw Zebedee's sons, James and John, in a boat repairing their nets.
20He called them at once, and they also followed him, leaving their father, Zebedee, in the boat with the hired men.
21Jesus and his companions went to the town of Capernaum. When the Sabbath day came, he went into the synagogue and began to teach.
22The people were amazed at his teaching, for he taught with real authority—quite unlike the teachers of religious law.
23Suddenly, a man in the synagogue who was possessed by an evil* spirit began shouting,
24"Why are you interfering with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!"
25Jesus cut him short. "Be quiet! Come out of the man," he ordered.
26At that, the evil spirit screamed, threw the man into a convulsion, and then came out of him.
27Amazement gripped the audience, and they began to discuss what had happened. "What sort of new teaching is this?" they asked excitedly. "It has such authority! Even evil spirits obey his orders!"
28The news about Jesus spread quickly throughout the entire region of Galilee.
29After Jesus left the synagogue with James and John, they went to Simon and Andrew's home.
30Now Simon's mother-in-law was sick in bed with a high fever. They told Jesus about her right away.
31So he went to her bedside, took her by the hand, and helped her sit up. Then the fever left her, and she prepared a meal for them.
32That evening after sunset, many sick and demon-possessed people were brought to Jesus.
33The whole town gathered at the door to watch.
34So Jesus healed many people who were sick with various diseases, and he cast out many demons. But because the demons knew who he was, he did not allow them to speak.
35Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray.
36Later Simon and the others went out to find him.
37When they found him, they said, "Everyone is looking for you."
38But Jesus replied, "We must go on to other towns as well, and I will preach to them, too. That is why I came."
39So he traveled throughout the region of Galilee, preaching in the synagogues and casting out demons.
40A man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed. "If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean," he said.
41Moved with compassion,* Jesus reached out and touched him. "I am willing," he said. "Be healed!"
42Instantly the leprosy disappeared, and the man was healed.
43Then Jesus sent him on his way with a stern warning:
44"Don't tell anyone about this. Instead, 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.* This will be a public testimony that you have been cleansed."
45But the man went and spread the word, proclaiming to everyone what had happened. As a result, large crowds soon surrounded Jesus, and he couldn't publicly enter a town anywhere. He had to stay out in the secluded places, but people from everywhere kept coming to him.