Jesus Heals on the Sabbath
1Jesus went into the synagogue again and noticed a man with a deformed hand. 2Since it was the Sabbath, Jesus’ enemies watched him closely. If he healed the man’s hand, they planned to accuse him of working on the Sabbath.
3Jesus said to the man with the deformed hand, “Come and stand in front of everyone.” 4Then he turned to his critics and asked, “Does the law permit good deeds on the Sabbath, or is it a day for doing evil? Is this a day to save life or to destroy it?” But they wouldn’t answer him.
5He looked around at them angrily and was deeply saddened by their hard hearts. Then he said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” So the man held out his hand, and it was restored! 6At once the Pharisees went away and met with the supporters of Herod to plot how to kill Jesus.
Crowds Follow Jesus
7Jesus went out to the lake with his disciples, and a large crowd followed him. They came from all over Galilee, Judea, 8Jerusalem, Idumea, from east of the Jordan River, and even from as far north as Tyre and Sidon. The news about his miracles had spread far and wide, and vast numbers of people came to see him.
9Jesus instructed his disciples to have a boat ready so the crowd would not crush him. 10He had healed many people that day, so all the sick people eagerly pushed forward to touch him. 11And whenever those possessed by evil spirits caught sight of him, the spirits would throw them to the ground in front of him shrieking, “You are the Son of God!” 12But Jesus sternly commanded the spirits not to reveal who he was.
Jesus Chooses the Twelve Apostles
13Afterward Jesus went up on a mountain and called out the ones he wanted to go with him. And they came to him. 14Then he appointed twelve of them and called them his apostles. They were to accompany him, and he would send them out to preach, 15giving them authority to cast out demons. 16These are the twelve he chose:
Simon (whom he named Peter),
17James and John (the sons of Zebedee, but Jesus nicknamed them “Sons of Thunder”),
James (son of Alphaeus),
Simon (the zealot),
19Judas Iscariot (who later betrayed him).
Jesus and the Prince of Demons
20One time Jesus entered a house, and the crowds began to gather again. Soon he and his disciples couldn’t even find time to eat. 21When his family heard what was happening, they tried to take him away. “He’s out of his mind,” they said.
22But the teachers of religious law who had arrived from Jerusalem said, “He’s possessed by Satan, the prince of demons. That’s where he gets the power to cast out demons.”
23Jesus called them over and responded with an illustration. “How can Satan cast out Satan?” he asked. 24“A kingdom divided by civil war will collapse. 25Similarly, a family splintered by feuding will fall apart. 26And if Satan is divided and fights against himself, how can he stand? He would never survive. 27Let me illustrate this further. Who is powerful enough to enter the house of a strong man and plunder his goods? Only someone even stronger—someone who could tie him up and then plunder his house.
28“I tell you the truth, all sin and blasphemy can be forgiven, 29but anyone who blasphemes the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven. This is a sin with eternal consequences.” 30He told them this because they were saying, “He’s possessed by an evil spirit.”
The True Family of Jesus
31Then Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him. They stood outside and sent word for him to come out and talk with them. 32There was a crowd sitting around Jesus, and someone said, “Your mother and your brothers are outside asking for you.”
33Jesus replied, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” 34Then he looked at those around him and said, “Look, these are my mother and brothers. 35Anyone who does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”