1 Jesus went into the synagogue again and noticed a man with a deformed hand.
2 Since it was the Sabbath, Jesus' enemies watched him closely. Would he heal the man's hand on the Sabbath? If he did, they planned to condemn him.
3 Jesus said to the man, "Come and stand in front of everyone."
4 Then he turned to his critics and asked, "Is it legal to do good deeds on the Sabbath, or is it a day for doing harm? Is this a day to save life or to destroy it?" But they wouldn't answer him.
5 He looked around at them angrily, because he was deeply disturbed by their hard hearts. Then he said to the man, "Reach out your hand." The man reached out his hand, and it became normal again!
6 At once the Pharisees went away and met with the supporters of Herod to discuss plans for killing Jesus.
7 Jesus and his disciples went out to the lake, followed by a huge crowd from all over Galilee, Judea,
8 Jerusalem, Idumea, from east of the Jordan River, and even from as far away as Tyre and Sidon. The news about his miracles had spread far and wide, and vast numbers of people came to see him for themselves.
9 Jesus instructed his disciples to bring around a boat and to have it ready in case he was crowded off the beach.
10 There had been many healings that day. As a result, many sick people were crowding around him, trying to touch him.
11 And whenever those possessed by evil spirits caught sight of him, they would fall down in front of him shrieking, "You are the Son of God!"
12 But Jesus strictly warned them not to say who he was.
13 Afterward Jesus went up on a mountain and called the ones he wanted to go with him. And they came to him.
14 Then he selected twelve of them to be his regular companions, calling them apostles.* He sent them out to preach,1
15 and he gave them authority to cast out demons.
16 These are the names of the twelve he chose: Simon (he renamed him Peter),
17 James and John (the sons of Zebedee, but Jesus nicknamed them "Sons of Thunder"*),2
18 Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James (son of Alphaeus), Thaddaeus, Simon (the Zealot*),3
19 Judas Iscariot (who later betrayed him).
20 When Jesus returned to the house where he was staying, the crowds began to gather again, and 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 home with them. "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,* the prince of demons. That's where he gets the power to cast out demons."4
23 Jesus called them over and said to them by way of illustration, "How can Satan cast out Satan?
24 A kingdom at war with itself will collapse.
25 A home divided against itself is doomed.
26 And if Satan is fighting against himself, how can he stand? He would never survive.
27 Let me illustrate this. You can't enter a strong man's house and rob him without first tying him up. Only then can his house be robbed!*5
28 "I assure you that any sin can be forgiven, including blasphemy;
29 but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven. It is an eternal sin."
30 He told them this because they were saying he had an evil spirit.
31 Jesus' mother and brothers arrived at the house where he was teaching. They stood outside and sent word for him to come out and talk with them.
32 There was a crowd around Jesus, and someone said, "Your mother and your brothers and sisters* are outside, asking for you."6
33 Jesus replied, "Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?"
34 Then he looked at those around him and said, "These are my mother and brothers.
35 Anyone who does God's will is my brother and sister and mother."
Read Mark 4