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, “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! # 3:5 This miracle is found in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. It contains valuable lessons for us today, for the hand symbolizes holding, giving, receiving, doing. It was his right hand (Luke 6:6), which brings the added significance of power (i.e., God’s right hand, Ex. 15:6), pleasure (Ps. 16:11), approval (Heb. 1:13), and righteousness (Ps. 48:10). A crippled right hand points to the lack of all these things. Human beings are helpless before God, crippled in all our works. But the power of Jesus heals our limitations and brokenness. Religion cannot heal us, but Jesus can.
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, # 3:8 Or “Edom.” Idumea was the region south of Beersheba, south and west of the Dead Sea, a territory of ancient Israel. beyond the Jordan, and from Lebanon. # 3:8 Or “Tyre and Sidon,” which are in modern-day 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 # 3:10 Or “falling all over him.” Jesus had power coming through him for healing, and everyone wanted to touch him. What a wonderful Savior who loves and heals people! 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 with him. 14He appointed # 3:14 This was not simply a passive acknowledgment, but an active setting them in place. The Greek verb poieo is the verb “do” or “make.” Jesus “did” them; that is, he imparted his favor, blessing, and grace to set them in place as apostolic emissaries for the kingdom realm of God. the Twelve, whom he named apostles. # 3:14 The Greek word apostoles means “sent ones.” 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. # 3:15 As translated from the Aramaic and a few Greek manuscripts. This ordination was for a three-fold purpose: (1) that they might continually be at his side, (2) to send them out with love for others, preaching the truth of God’s Word, and (3) to receive power to heal and cast out demons. This is the same for all whom Jesus calls to represent him. See Acts 4:13.
16He appointed his Twelve # 3:16 These twelve disciples became apostles (“sent ones”), serving God’s kingdom. Jesus raised up twelve, and later seventy, whom he sent out to preach the message of God’s kingdom. None of them were fully mature or equipped, for the Holy Spirit had not yet come to empower them. Leaders today need to raise up others and not center their ministry around themselves. The legacy of a spiritual leader is made up of those whom he or she has released and sent forth to proclaim Christ. and gave Simon the nickname Peter the Rock. # 3:16 In the ancient Hebraic mindset, to name something is to give it existence, purpose, and function. (See Gen. 32:27–28.) In the Greek mindset, naming is simply assigning phonetic sounds to an object or a person. When Jesus gave this name to Peter, he was calling his purpose into existence. Peter would be a strong rock of faith and a leader to the other eleven apostles. Peter is always named first in all the listings of the Twelve (Matt. 10:1–4; Luke 6:13–16; Acts 1:13). The name Jesus gave him was Keefa, the Aramaic word for “rock.” The Greek is Petros, which in John 1:42 is explained as the translation from Galilean Aramaic. 17And he gave the brothers, Jacob and John, the sons of Zebedee, the nickname Benay-Regah, # 3:17 As translated from Aramaic. The Greek transliteration is “Boanerges.” Benay-Regah can also be translated “sons of loud shouts” (or “passionate sons”) or “sons of commotion” (easily angered) or “sons of thunder.” Jesus, by giving the brothers this nickname, acknowledged that they were two rowdy boys, thunderous and passionate. Jesus chose twelve men who were all different in their personality types. It was no doubt humorous to Jesus to observe how different these twelve men were and how difficult it was to form them into a band of brothers. which means “passionate sons.” 18The others were Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, # 3:18 Or in Aramaic, “the son of Tolmai” (“discipline”). This could be another name for Nathaniel. Matthew, Thomas, Jacob the son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, # 3:18 Or “Lebbaeus.” Simon the Nationalist, # 3:18 Or “Simon the Zealot” or “Simon the Cananaean.” 19and Judas Iscariot, # 3:19 Iscariot is taken from an Aramaic derivative for “lock” (or “locksmith”). who betrayed him.
Jesus and the Ruler of Demons
20Then Jesus went home, # 3:20 This was likely the house of Simon and Andrew mentioned in Mark 1:29. 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 # 3:22 Or “Beelzebub,” another name for Satan, the ruler of demons. 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 fragmented 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, # 3:27 This information is given in v. 30 and is positioned here for the sake of clarity of the English narrative. “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. # 3:27 Luke adds a phrase here: “The stronger one [Jesus] overpowers him.” The stronger one is Jesus, who first defeated Satan in the wilderness ordeal and then destroyed him by the cross and resurrection (Heb. 2:14). Bruising his head, Jesus now has Satan under his feet and will soon consign him to the lake of fire. 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 that are spoken. 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.) # 3:30 The information found in v. 30 is included in v. 27 for the sake of the English narrative.
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. # 3:31 It is likely that Jesus’ family did not follow him, because they feared rejection by their community. This happened in Nazareth, after Jesus publicly stated that he was the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy of the Messiah and the townspeople wanted to kill Jesus by throwing him off a cliff. See Luke 4:18–29. 32When the crowd sitting around Jesus heard this, they spoke up, and said to him, “Jesus, your mother and brothers # 3:32 Some manuscripts include the words “and sisters.” are outside looking for you.”
33He answered them, “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!”