Summoning His 12 disciples, He gave them authority over unclean spirits, to drive them out and to heal every disease and sickness.
These are the names of the 12 apostles: First, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;
Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus;
Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him.
Jesus sent out these 12 after giving them instructions: "Don't take the road leading to other nations, and don't enter any Samaritan town.
Instead, go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
As you go, announce this: 'The kingdom of heaven has come near.'
Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those with skin diseases, drive out demons. You have received free of charge; give free of charge.
Don't take along gold, silver, or copper for your money-belts.
Don't take a traveling bag for the road, or an extra shirt, sandals, or a walking stick, for the worker is worthy of his food.
"When you enter any town or village, find out who is worthy, and stay there until you leave.
Greet a household when you enter it,
and if the household is worthy, let your peace be on it. But if it is unworthy, let your peace return to you.
If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that house or town.
I assure you: It will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.
"Look, I'm sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as serpents and as harmless as doves.
Because people will hand you over to sanhedrins and flog you in their synagogues, beware of them.
You will even be brought before governors and kings because of Me, to bear witness to them and to the nations.
But when they hand you over, don't worry about how or what you should speak. For you will be given what to say at that hour,
because you are not speaking, but the Spirit of your Father is speaking through you.
"Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will even rise up against their parents and have them put to death.
You will be hated by everyone because of My name. But the one who endures to the end will be delivered.
When they persecute you in one town, escape to another. For I assure you: You will not have covered the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
A disciple is not above his teacher, or a slave above his master.
It is enough for a disciple to become like his teacher and a slave like his master. If they called the head of the house ' Beelzebul,' how much more the members of his household!
"Therefore, don't be afraid of them, since there is nothing covered that won't be uncovered, and nothing hidden that won't be made known.
What I tell you in the dark, speak in the light. What you hear in a whisper, proclaim on the housetops.
Don't fear those who kill the body but are not able to kill the soul; rather, fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Aren't two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father's consent.
But even the hairs of your head have all been counted.
Don't be afraid therefore; you are worth more than many sparrows.
"Therefore, everyone who will acknowledge Me before men, I will also acknowledge him before My Father in heaven.
But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father in heaven.
Don't assume that I came to bring peace on the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.
For I came to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
and a man's enemies will be the members of his household.
The person who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; the person who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.
And whoever doesn't take up his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me.
Anyone finding his life will lose it, and anyone losing his life because of Me will find it.
"The one who welcomes you welcomes Me, and the one who welcomes Me welcomes Him who sent Me.
Anyone who welcomes a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet's reward. And anyone who welcomes a righteous person because he's righteous will receive a righteous person's reward.
And whoever gives just a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is a disciple-- I assure you: He will never lose his reward!"
When Jesus had finished giving orders to His 12 disciples, He moved on from there to teach and preach in their towns.
When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent [a message] by his disciples
and asked Him, "Are You the One who is to come, or should we expect someone else?"
Jesus replied to them, "Go and report to John what you hear and see:
the blind see, the lame walk, those with skin diseases are healed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor are told the good news.
And if anyone is not offended because of Me, he is blessed."
As these men went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: "What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swaying in the wind?
What then did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothes? Look, those who wear soft clothes are in kings' palaces.
But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and far more than a prophet.
This is the one it is written about: Look, I am sending My messenger ahead of You; he will prepare Your way before You.
"I assure you: Among those born of women no one greater than John the Baptist has appeared, but the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been suffering violence, and the violent have been seizing it by force.
For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John;
if you're willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who is to come.
Anyone who has ears should listen!
"To what should I compare this generation? It's like children sitting in the marketplaces who call out to each other:
We played the flute for you, but you didn't dance; we sang a lament, but you didn't mourn!
For John did not come eating or drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon!'
The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds."
Then He proceeded to denounce the towns where most of His miracles were done, because they did not repent:
"Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented in sackcloth and ashes long ago!
But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you.
And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will go down to Hades. For if the miracles that were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until today.
But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you."
At that time Jesus said, "I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and learned and revealed them to infants.
Yes, Father, because this was Your good pleasure.
All things have been entrusted to Me by My Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son desires to reveal Him.
"Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves.
For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
At that time Jesus passed through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick and eat some heads of grain.
But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, "Look, Your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath!"
He said to them, "Haven't you read what David did when he and those who were with him were hungry--
how he entered the house of God, and they ate the sacred bread, which is not lawful for him or for those with him to eat, but only for the priests?
Or haven't you read in the Law that on Sabbath days the priests in the temple violate the Sabbath and are innocent?
But I tell you that something greater than the temple is here!
If you had known what this means: I desire mercy and not sacrifice, you would not have condemned the innocent.
For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath."
Moving on from there, He entered their synagogue.
There He saw a man who had a paralyzed hand. And in order to accuse Him they asked Him, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?"
But He said to them, "What man among you, if he had a sheep that fell into a pit on the Sabbath, wouldn't take hold of it and lift it out?
A man is worth far more than a sheep, so it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath."
Then He told the man, "Stretch out your hand." So he stretched it out, and it was restored, as good as the other.
But the Pharisees went out and plotted against Him, how they might destroy Him.
When Jesus became aware of this, He withdrew from there. Huge crowds followed Him, and He healed them all.
He warned them not to make Him known,
so that what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:
Here is My Servant whom I have chosen, My beloved in whom My soul delights; I will put My Spirit on Him, and He will proclaim justice to the nations.
He will not argue or shout, and no one will hear His voice in the streets.
He will not break a bruised reed, and He will not put out a smoldering wick, until He has led justice to victory.
The nations will put their hope in His name.
Then a demon-possessed man who was blind and unable to speak was brought to Him. He healed him, so that the man could both speak and see.
And all the crowds were astounded and said, "Perhaps this is the Son of David!"
When the Pharisees heard this, they said, "The man drives out demons only by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons."
Knowing their thoughts, He told them: "Every kingdom divided against itself is headed for destruction, and no city or house divided against itself will stand.
If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?
And if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, who is it your sons drive them out by? For this reason they will be your judges.
If I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you.
How can someone enter a strong man's house and steal his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can rob his house.
Anyone who is not with Me is against Me, and anyone who does not gather with Me scatters.
Because of this, I tell you, people will be forgiven every sin and blasphemy, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.
Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him. But whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the one to come.
"Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit.
Brood of vipers! How can you speak good things when you are evil? For the mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart.
A good man produces good things from his storeroom of good, and an evil man produces evil things from his storeroom of evil.
I tell you that on the day of judgment people will have to account for every careless word they speak.
For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned."
Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Him, "Teacher, we want to see a sign from You."
But He answered them, "An evil and adulterous generation demands a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.
For as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights.
The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at Jonah's proclamation; and look-- something greater than Jonah is here!
The queen of the south will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and look-- something greater than Solomon is here!
"When an unclean spirit comes out of a man, it roams through waterless places looking for rest but doesn't find any.
Then it says, 'I'll go back to my house that I came from.' And when it arrives, it finds [the house] vacant, swept, and put in order.
Then off it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and settle down there. As a result, that man's last condition is worse than the first. That's how it will also be with this evil generation."
He was still speaking to the crowds when suddenly His mother and brothers were standing outside wanting to speak to Him.
Someone told Him, "Look, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to You."
But He replied to the one who told Him, "Who is My mother and who are My brothers?"
And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, "Here are My mother and My brothers!
For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven, that person is My brother and sister and mother."