7 Jesus went out to the lake with his disciples, and a large crowd followed him. They came from all over Galilee, Judea,8 Jerusalem, 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.
9 Jesus instructed his disciples to have a boat ready so the crowd would not crush him.10 He had healed many people that day, so all the sick people eagerly pushed forward to touch him.11 And whenever those possessed by evil[a] spirits caught sight of him, the spirits would throw them to the ground in front of him shrieking, “You are the Son of God!”12 But Jesus sternly commanded the spirits not to reveal who he was.
Jesus Chooses the Twelve Apostles
13 Afterward Jesus went up on a mountain and called out the ones he wanted to go with him. And they came to him.14 Then he appointed twelve of them and called them his apostles.[b] They were to accompany him, and he would send them out to preach,15 giving them authority to cast out demons.16 These are the twelve he chose:
Simon (whom he named Peter), 17 James and John (the sons of Zebedee, but Jesus nicknamed them “Sons of Thunder”[c]), 18 Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James (son of Alphaeus), Thaddaeus, Simon (the zealot[d]), 19 Judas Iscariot (who later betrayed him).
Jesus and the Prince of Demons
20 One time Jesus entered a house, and the crowds began to gather again. Soon he and his disciples couldn’t even find time to eat.21 When his family heard what was happening, they tried to take him away. “He’s out of his mind,” they said.
22 But the teachers of religious law who had arrived from Jerusalem said, “He’s possessed by Satan,[e] the prince of demons. That’s where he gets the power to cast out demons.”
23 Jesus 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.25 Similarly, a family splintered by feuding will fall apart.26 And if Satan is divided and fights against himself, how can he stand? He would never survive.27 Let 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,29 but anyone who blasphemes the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven. This is a sin with eternal consequences.”30 He told them this because they were saying, “He’s possessed by an evil spirit.”
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