Jesus Heals on the Sabbath
1Then Jesus left them and went again into the synagogue, where he encountered a man who had an atrophied, paralyzed hand. 2Everyone was watching Jesus closely to see if he would heal the man on the Sabbath, giving them a reason to accuse him of breaking Sabbath rules.
3Jesus said to the man with the paralyzed hand, “Stand here in the middle of the room.”
4Then he turned to all those gathered there and said, “Which is it? Is it against the law to do evil on the Sabbath or to do good? To destroy a life or to save one?” But no one answered him a word.
5Then looking around at everyone, Jesus was moved with indignation and grieved by the hardness of their hearts and said to the man, “Now stretch out your hand!” As he stretched out his hand, it was instantly healed!
6After this happened, the Pharisees left abruptly and began to plot together with the friends and supporters of Herod Antipas on how they would kill Jesus.
Massive Crowds Follow Jesus
7Once again Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the lakeside, but a massive crowd of people followed him from all around the provinces of Galilee and southern Israel. 8Vast crowds came from Jerusalem, Idumea, beyond the Jordan, and from Lebanon. Large numbers of people swarmed in from everywhere when they heard of him and his wonderful works.
9The crowd pressed so closely to Jesus that he instructed his disciples to bring him a small boat to get into and keep from being crushed by the crowd. 10For he had healed so many that the sick kept pushing forward just so they could touch Jesus. 11And whenever a demon saw him, it would throw the person down at Jesus’ feet, screaming out, “You are the Son of God!” 12But Jesus would silence the demons and sternly order them not to reveal who he was.
Jesus Chooses Twelve Apostles
13Afterward, Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to himself the men he wanted to be his close companions, so they went up the mountainside to join him. 14He appointed the Twelve, whom he named apostles. He wanted them to be continually at his side as his friends, and so that he could send them out to preach 15and have authority to heal the sick and to cast out demons.
16He appointed his Twelve and gave Simon the nickname Peter the Rock. 17And he gave the brothers, Jacob and John, the sons of Zebedee, the nickname Benay-Regah, which means “passionate sons.” 18The others were Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, Jacob the son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Nationalist, 19and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
Jesus and the Ruler of Demons
20Then Jesus went home, but once again a large crowd gathered around him, which prevented him from even eating a meal. 21When his own family heard that he was there, they went out to seize him, for they said, “He’s insane!”
22The religious scholars who arrived from Jerusalem were saying, “Satan has possessed him! He casts out demons by the authority of the prince of demons!” 23Jesus called them to himself and spoke to them using parables. “How can Satan cast out Satan? 24No kingdom can endure if it is divided against itself, 25and a splintered household will not be able to stand, for it is divided. 26And if Satan fights against himself he will not endure, and his end has come.”
27Jesus said to them, “Listen. No one is able to break into a mighty man’s house and steal his property unless he first overpowers the mighty man and ties him up. Then his entire house can be plundered and his possessions taken. 28I tell you this timeless truth: All sin will be forgiven, even all the blasphemies they speak. 29But there can never be forgiveness for the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, for he is guilty of an eternal sin!” 30(This is because they said he was empowered by a demon spirit.)
Members of Jesus’ True Family
31Then Jesus’ mother and his brothers came and stood outside and sent a message to him, asking that he come out and speak with them. 32When the crowd sitting around Jesus heard this, they spoke up, and said to him, “Jesus, your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.”
33He answered them saying, “Who is my true mother and my true brothers?” 34Then looking in the eyes of those who were sitting in a circle around him, he said, “Here are my true family members. 35For whoever does the will of God is my brother, my sister, and my mother!”