Today we see that Jesus values women as part of His ministry plans along with the twelve disciples – “Now it came to pass, afterward, that He went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with Him, and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities—Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who provided for Him from their substance.” Not only did women accompany and support Jesus’ earthly ministry, we will soon discover that Jesus will first appear to women after His resurrection and entrust them with sharing the good news of His resurrection with others.
When Jesus was preaching to the crowds, He cast a demon out of a man, resulting in some scribes and Pharisees assuming that Jesus is doing the work of Satan. Jesus explains that it would make no sense for Satan to cast out his own demons. He says, “But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you… He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.”
Then Jesus tells them that there is only one sin that is unforgivable – “Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who 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 age to come.” The Holy Spirit testifies that Jesus Christ is the Son of God through whom salvation is provided. Jesus is saying that the only sin that will not be forgiven is rejecting the testimony of the Holy Spirit who calls people to salvation through belief in Jesus Christ.
However, the scribes and Pharisees are ignoring the words of Jesus and are still trying to catch Jesus in an unlawful act. Therefore, they ask Him to perform a sign, although He has already performed many signs proving He is Lord. So instead of giving them a sign, Jesus gives them a story about Jonah being in the belly of a fish for three days which led to the salvation of Nineveh. Like Jonah, Jesus will be in the belly of the earth three days, and three nights and then rise again, an act only God can do, so that salvation will be available for the world. Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection provides a way for us to be a part of God’s eternal family.
Jesus speaks of His true family when His brothers and His mother, Mary, come looking for Him. Jesus says, “‘Who is My mother and who are My brothers?’ And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, ‘Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.’”
We end the reading with Jesus speaking His first parable, which is about a sower and his seed. The parable teaches that not all who hear the gospel (the Good News of Jesus Christ) will understand and believe.
- Some seeds will fall by the wayside, meaning that as soon as someone hears, Satan will snatch away what was sown on their hearts.
- Some seeds will fall on stony ground, meaning that some will immediately receive the word, but it will have no roots so they will not endure the tribulations of the world.
- Some seeds are sown among the thorns, meaning that some hear the word but are drawn away by the desires of the world.
- “But there are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.” These are the ones who have eternal salvation which is evident by their fruit (Matthew 7:15-20).
Tomorrow Jesus will give several illustrations to help us understand the kingdom of God, so keep reading. (Luke 8:1-3, Mark 3:20-30, Matthew 12:22-45, Mark 3:31-35, Matthew 12:46-50, Luke 8:19-21, Mark 4:1-9, Matthew 13:1-9, Luke 8:4-8, Mark 4:10-20)