7 Jesus led his disciples down to the shore of the lake. Large crowds followed him from Galilee, Judea, 8 and Jerusalem. People came from Idumea, as well as other places east of the Jordan River. They also came from the region around the cities of Tyre and Sidon. All of these crowds came because they had heard what Jesus was doing. 9 He even had to tell his disciples to get a boat ready to keep him from being crushed by the crowds.
10 After Jesus had healed many people, the other sick people begged him to let them touch him. 11 And whenever any evil spirits saw Jesus, they would fall to the ground and shout, “You are the Son of God!” 12 But Jesus warned the spirits not to tell who he was.
Jesus Chooses His Twelve Apostles
13 Jesus decided to ask some of his disciples to go up on a mountain with him, and they went. 14 Then he chose twelve of them to be his apostles,[a] so that they could be with him. He also wanted to send them out to preach 15 and to force out demons. 16 Simon was one of the twelve, and Jesus named him Peter. 17 There were also James and John, the two sons of Zebedee. Jesus called them Boanerges, which means “Thunderbolts.” 18 Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus were also apostles. The others were Simon, known as the Eager One,[b]19 and Judas Iscariot,[c] who later betrayed Jesus.
Jesus and the Ruler of Demons
20 Jesus went back home,[d] and once again such a large crowd gathered that there was no chance even to eat. 21 When Jesus' family heard what he was doing, they thought he was crazy and went to get him under control.
22 Some teachers of the Law of Moses came from Jerusalem and said, “This man is under the power of Beelzebul, the ruler of demons! He is even forcing out demons with the help of Beelzebul.”
23 Jesus told the people to gather around him. Then he spoke to them in riddles and said:
How can Satan force himself out? 24 A nation whose people fight each other won’t last very long. 25 And a family that fights won’t last long either. 26 So if Satan fights against himself, that will be the end of him.
27 How can anyone break into the house of a strong man and steal his things, unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can take everything.
28 I promise you that any of the sinful things you say or do can be forgiven, no matter how terrible those things are. 29 But if you speak against the Holy Spirit, you can never be forgiven. That sin will be held against you forever.
30 Jesus said this because the people were saying that he had an evil spirit in him.
3.14to be his apostles: These words are not in some manuscripts.
3.18known as the Eager One: The Greek text has “Cananaean,” which probably comes from a Hebrew word meaning “zealous” (see Luke 6.15). “Zealot” was the name later given to the members of a Jewish group that resisted and fought against the Romans.
3.19Iscariot: This may mean “a man from Kerioth” (a place in Judea). But more probably it means “a man who was a liar” or “a man who was a betrayer.”
3.20went back home: Or “entered a house” (perhaps the home of Simon Peter).
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