1Another time he went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. 2Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. 3Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.”
4Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent.
5He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. 6Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.
Crowds Follow Jesus
7Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the lake, and a large crowd from Galilee followed. 8When they heard all he was doing, many people came to him from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, and the regions across the Jordan and around Tyre and Sidon. 9Because of the crowd he told his disciples to have a small boat ready for him, to keep the people from crowding him. 10For he had healed many, so that those with diseases were pushing forward to touch him. 11Whenever the evil[a] spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.” 12But he gave them strict orders not to tell who he was.
The Appointing of the Twelve Apostles
13Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. 14He appointed twelve—designating them apostles[b]—that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach 15and to have authority to drive out demons. 16These are the twelve he appointed: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter 17 James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means Sons of Thunder);18Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot 19and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
Jesus and Beelzebub
20Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat.21When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”
22And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebub[c]! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.”
23So Jesus called them and spoke to them in parables: “How can Satan drive out Satan? 24If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. 27In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can rob his house. 28I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them. 29But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin.”
30He said this because they were saying, “He has an evil spirit.”
Jesus’ Mother and Brothers
31Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. 32A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.”
33“Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked.
34Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”
Key Verse: 24If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
Reflection/Application: Oh the drama! It seems as if the Pharisees sent a spy to watch Jesus and look for any reason/excuse to bring forth their form of justice on him. To this, Jesus displayed his own version of “bring it on!” and healed the disabled man. I get quite a lot out of this chapter, if you don’t mind, I’d like to break it down in a few areas:
• Healing on the Sabbath – Jesus was all about love and healing for those that needed it, be it healing of the heart or healing physically. Perhaps this is a great parable on how we should treat those in need? How do you react when faced with those in need (panhandlers, homeless, etc.)? I find it interesting that the Pharisees thought they were doing good by watching, waiting and judging and thought Jesus was doing evil by healing on the Sabbath. I think Satan was very busy in the hearts of many this day…
• Jesus, angry? – Wouldn’t you be? Ephesians 4:26 instructs us to deal with anger properly and I think Jesus was doing this here…he’s angry because of the hard hearts he’s seeing yet his own action is not wrathful but more so out of love to the disabled man. I think we should all feel the same way if we were to enter a room and there was someone in need, yet no one was doing anything about it. This whole event reminds me of a somewhat recent event that happened in NYC this year: Dozens Walk Past Dying Hero Hugo Alfredo Tale-Yax On New York … Would this had been you, would you had done anything? Think about if you were visiting the city and were scared or lost…definitely says something about our modern society…skipping ahead to the next topic and the key verse:
• A kingdom divided – This is where we stand, so many political agendas and division, it’s getting hard to find a group of more than 10 people that share the same values or beliefs. We are constantly told by multiple sources (media, friends, leaders, etc.) that if we’re “this” type of person then we should believe “this”. I know the whole “WWJD” is cliché, but it holds true…I think there should also be a “WWPS” (What Would Paul Say?) after reading Ephesians and learning about the unity that Paul was teaching. There’s only one good rule book if you’re wondering about your beliefs, it has about 66 chapters in it so you better get to reading 🙂