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Then Jesus started home to Capernaum (84). Very large crowds followed, so that Jesus and his students could not even take time to eat.
Jesus’ family members heard how his ministry was exploding. People had begun spreading wild rumors about him; some people in the crowds were even saying, “Jesus has gone mad!” His family members were concerned & they wanted to get Jesus under control .
Certain teachers of the law, who had come from Jerusalem, tried discrediting Jesus by saying, “He has Satan in him! It is by Satan’s power that Jesus expels evil spirits from people!” Jesus gave them this reply:
“You know the evil spirits that torment people are sent from Satan. And now you say that I expel those evil spirits by Satan’s power? But how can Satan drive out Satan?
“If a country divides itself into opposing forces which fight each other, that country will fall apart. If a family divides itself into opposing forces which fight each other, that family will fall apart. It is the same with Satan; if his forces are divided & fight each other, they will fall apart and Satan’s power will not last.”
Then Jesus concluded with this telling comment: “In order for anyone to expel evil spirits which have been sent from Satan, it is first necessary to restrain Satan.”
Still, some of the people in the crowd kept saying, “Jesus has an evil spirit in him.” Jesus replied to them this way: “People can be forgiven all the evil things they may say or do. But whoever blasphemes — by repeatedly refusing to recognize & revere the Holy Spirit of God — cannot be forgiven & will be condemned by God.”
Then Jesus’ mother & other family members arrived. They sent a message through the crowd, asking for him. Someone in the crowd told Jesus, “Your mother & brothers are outside, and they want to see you.”
Jesus answered with a question, “Who are my real family members?” He looked at the people sitting around him and said, “My real family members are right here. Those of you who follow the Holy Spirit & do what God wants are the real members of my family & God’s family.”
LORD, please help us to love all the varied members of Your family.
(84) Mark 3:20-35, Luke 8:19-21