The Twelve, Blasphemy, Family, And A Parable

The Twelve, Blasphemy, Family, And A Parable

The Twelve Apostles

And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him. And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach and have authority to cast out demons. He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

Then he went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat. And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.”

Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit

And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.” And he called them to him and said to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end. But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. Then indeed he may plunder his house.

“Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”— for they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.”

Jesus’ Mother and Brothers

And his mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him. And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, seeking you.” And he answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”

The Parable of the Sower

Again he began to teach beside the sea. And a very large crowd gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat in it on the sea, and the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. And he was teaching them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” And he said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”


Jesus appointed twelve men to be his apostles, whose title implies "those who are sent." He first trained them in the art of preaching, healing, and expelling evil spirits (6:7–13). Paul expounds on how the apostles' ministry was a continuation of Jesus Himself, and that they carried His message to all (Eph 2:17). The Apostles were integral in establishing the church's foundation; thus their teachings can be relied upon as an indication of authentic Christianity (Eph 2:20; 1 Cor 3:11). In other words, what we accept from them is proof positive that one is truly a follower of Christ (1 John 4:6).


The teachers of the law, from Jerusalem—spread the news that Jesus is possessed by Beelzebub, the prince of demons. But Jesus offers a profound rebuttal: if Satan were to be overthrowing his agents, then it would signify the disintegration of hell's kingdom. These lies and blasphemous accusations sparked immense anger in him; for labeling God's work as mankind’s doing was not only an unwarranted offense but also one which lacked forgiveness.

We Are Family

The magnitude of Jesus' ministry is often misconstrued by those closest to him, even his own family. When Jesus' mother and brothers arrive at the crowded house where He is instructing, they must wait outside. When told of their presence, He appears to ignore them. In actuality, His loyalty lies with God first—those who are devotedly following Him in doing God's will are considered his closest relatives.


Seated comfortably in a boat, so that he isn't overwhelmed by the immense crowd of onlookers, our Savior imparts words of wisdom and knowledge to those along the shoreline. He speaks of a farmer who scatters his seed far and wide, from the rock-strewn paths to the thorny fields until it finally finds its way into fertile soil. Alas, some of that precious crop is snatched away by birds or scorched in the sun; where thorns take root, none can survive. Yet when nurtured with care on good ground, it yields an abundant harvest. The parable, on its own, is mysterious and difficult to understand. Fortunately for us, Jesus takes the time to explain it to his disciples (4:13–20). Jesus frequently communicates his divine teachings through parables. He encourages audiences to draw links between the relatable imagery he uses and their understanding of the kingdom of God.





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