ImmerseMessiah NLT - Page 276



264
IMMERSE

MESSIAH
3:20–4:9
One time Jesus entered a house, and the crowds began to gather again.
Soon he and his disciples couldn’t even find time to eat. When his family
heard what was happening, they tried to take him away. “He’s out of his
mind,” they said.
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.”
Jesus called them over and responded with an illustration. “How can
Satan cast out Satan?” he asked. “A kingdom divided by civil war will collapse. Similarly, a family splintered by feuding will fall apart. And if Satan
is divided and fights against himself, how can he stand? He would never
survive. Let me illustrate this further. Who is powerful enough to enter
the house of a strong man and plunder his goods? Only someone even
stronger—someone who could tie him up and then plunder his house.
“I tell you the truth, all sin and blasphemy can be forgiven, but anyone
who blasphemes the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven. This is a sin with
eternal consequences.” He told them this because they were saying, “He’s
possessed by an evil spirit.”
Then Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him. They stood outside
and sent word for him to come out and talk with them. There was a crowd
sitting around Jesus, and someone said, “Your mother and your brothers
are outside asking for you.”
Jesus replied, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” Then he
looked at those around him and said, “Look, these are my mother and
brothers. Anyone who does God’s will is my brother and sister and
mother.”
Once again Jesus began teaching by the lakeshore. A very large crowd soon
gathered around him, so he got into a boat. Then he sat in the boat while all
the people remained on the shore. He taught them by telling many stories
in the form of parables, such as this one:
“Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seed. As he scattered it across
his field, some of the seed fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate it.
Other seed fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seed sprouted
quickly because the soil was shallow. But the plant soon wilted under the
hot sun, and since it didn’t have deep roots, it died. Other seed fell among
thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants so they produced
no grain. Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they sprouted, grew, and
produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as
had been planted!” Then he said, “Anyone with ears to hear should listen
and understand.”





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