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Jesus Heals on the Sabbath

Then Jesus left them and went again into the synagogue, where he encountered a man who had an atrophied, paralyzed hand. Everyone 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.

Jesus said to the man with the paralyzed hand, “Stand here in the middle of the room.”

Then 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.

Then 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![a]

After 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

Once 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. Vast crowds came from Jerusalem, Idumea,[b] beyond the Jordan, and from Lebanon.[c] Large numbers of people swarmed in from everywhere when they heard of him and his wonderful works.

The 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. 10 For he had healed so many that the sick kept pushing forward[d] just so they could touch Jesus. 11 And whenever a demon saw him, it would throw the person down at Jesus’ feet, screaming out, “You are the Son of God!” 12 But Jesus would silence the demons and sternly order them not to reveal who he was.

Jesus Chooses Twelve Apostles

13 Afterward, 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. 14 He appointed[e] the Twelve, whom he named apostles.[f] He wanted them to be continually at his side as his friends, and so that he could send them out to preach 15 and have authority to heal the sick and to cast out demons.[g]

16 He appointed his Twelve[h] and gave Simon the nickname Peter the Rock.[i] 17 And he gave the brothers, Jacob and John, the sons of Zebedee, the nickname Benay-Regah,[j] which means “passionate sons.” 18 The others were Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew,[k] Matthew, Thomas, Jacob the son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus,[l] Simon the Nationalist,[m] 19 and Judas Iscariot,[n] who betrayed him.

Jesus and the Ruler of Demons

20 Then Jesus went home,[o] but once again a large crowd gathered around him, which prevented him from even eating a meal. 21 When his own family heard that he was there, they went out to seize him, for they said, “He’s insane!”

22 The religious scholars who arrived from Jerusalem were saying, “Satan[p] has possessed him! He casts out demons by the authority of the prince of demons!” 23 Jesus called them to himself and spoke to them using parables. “How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 No kingdom can endure if it is divided against itself, 25 and a fragmented household will not be able to stand, for it is divided. 26 And if Satan fights against himself he will not endure, and his end has come.”

27 Jesus said to them,[q] “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.[r] Then his entire house can be plundered and his possessions taken. 28 I tell you this timeless truth: All sin will be forgiven, even all the blasphemies that are spoken. 29 But 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.)[s]

Members of Jesus’ True Family

31 Then Jesus’ mother and his brothers came and stood outside and sent a message to him, asking that he come out and speak with them.[t] 32 When the crowd sitting around Jesus heard this, they spoke up, and said to him, “Jesus, your mother and brothers[u] are outside looking for you.”

33 He answered them, “Who is my true mother and my true brothers?” 34 Then looking in the eyes of those who were sitting in a circle around him, he said, “Here are my true family members. 35 For whoever does the will of God is my brother, my sister, and my mother!”


  1. 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.
  2. 3:8 Or “Edom.” Idumea was the region south of Beersheba, south and west of the Dead Sea, a territory of ancient Israel.
  3. 3:8 Or “Tyre and Sidon,” which are in modern-day Lebanon.
  4. 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!
  5. 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.
  6. 3:14 The Greek word apostoles means “sent ones.”
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 3:18 Or in Aramaic, “the son of Tolmai” (“discipline”). This could be another name for Nathaniel.
  12. 3:18 Or “Lebbaeus.”
  13. 3:18 Or “Simon the Zealot” or “Simon the Cananaean.”
  14. 3:19 Iscariot is taken from an Aramaic derivative for “lock” (or “locksmith”).
  15. 3:20 This was likely the house of Simon and Andrew mentioned in Mark 1:29.
  16. 3:22 Or “Beelzebub,” another name for Satan, the ruler of demons.
  17. 3:27 This information is given in v. 30 and is positioned here for the sake of clarity of the English narrative.
  18. 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.
  19. 3:30 The information found in v. 30 is included in v. 27 for the sake of the English narrative.
  20. 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.
  21. 3:32 Some manuscripts include the words “and sisters.”