Jesus’ Ministry and the Help of Women
Some time afterward he went on through towns and villages, preaching and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and disabilities: Mary (called Magdalene), from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna the wife of Cuza (Herod’s household manager), Susanna, and many others who provided for them out of their own resources.
The Parable of the Sower
While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from one town after another, he spoke to them in a parable: “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled on, and the wild birds devoured it. Other seed fell on rock, and when it came up, it withered because it had no moisture. Other seed fell among the thorns, and they grew up with it and choked it. But other seed fell on good soil and grew, and it produced a hundred times as much grain.” As he said this, he called out, “The one who has ears to hear had better listen!”
Then his disciples asked him what this parable meant. He said, “You have been given the opportunity to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so that although they see they may not see, and although they hear they may not understand.
“Now the parable means this: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in a time of testing fall away. As for the seed that fell among thorns, these are the ones who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the worries and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. But as for the seed that landed on good soil, these are the ones who, after hearing the word, cling to it with an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with steadfast endurance.
Showing the Light
“No one lights a lamp and then covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a lampstand so that those who come in can see the light. For nothing is hidden that will not be revealed, and nothing concealed that will not be made known and brought to light. So listen carefully, for whoever has will be given more, but whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him.”
Jesus’ True Family
Now Jesus’ mother and his brothers came to him, but they could not get near him because of the crowd. So he was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.” But he replied to them, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.”
Stilling of a Storm
One day Jesus got into a boat with his disciples and said to them, “Let’s go across to the other side of the lake.” So they set out, and as they sailed he fell asleep. Now a violent wind storm came down on the lake, and the boat started filling up with water, and they were in danger. They came and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we are about to die!” So he got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waves; they died down, and it was calm. Then he said to them, “Where is your faith?” But they were afraid and amazed, saying to one another, “Who then is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him!”
Healing of a Demoniac
So they sailed over to the region of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. As Jesus stepped ashore, a certain man from the town met him who was possessed by demons. For a long time this man had worn no clothes and had not lived in a house, but among the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out, fell down before him, and shouted with a loud voice, “Leave me alone, Jesus, Son of the Most High God! I beg you, do not torment me!” For Jesus had started commanding the evil spirit to come out of the man. (For it had seized him many times, so he would be bound with chains and shackles and kept under guard. But he would break the restraints and be driven by the demon into deserted places.) Jesus then asked him, “What is your name?” He said, “Legion,” because many demons had entered him. And they began to beg him not to order them to depart into the abyss. Now a large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, and the demonic spirits begged Jesus to let them go into them. He gave them permission. So the demons came out of the man and went into the pigs, and the herd of pigs rushed down the steep slope into the lake and drowned. When the herdsmen saw what had happened, they ran off and spread the news in the town and countryside. So the people went out to see what had happened, and they came to Jesus. They found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. Those who had seen it told them how the man who had been demon-possessed had been healed. Then all the people of the Gerasenes and the surrounding region asked Jesus to leave them alone, for they were seized with great fear. So he got into the boat and left. The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, “Return to your home, and declare what God has done for you.” So he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole town what Jesus had done for him.
Restoration and Healing
Now when Jesus returned, the crowd welcomed him, because they were all waiting for him. Then a man named Jairus, who was a ruler of the synagogue, came up. Falling at Jesus’ feet, he pleaded with him to come to his house, because he had an only daughter, about twelve years old, and she was dying.
As Jesus was on his way, the crowds pressed around him. Now a woman was there who had been suffering from a haemorrhage for twelve years but could not be healed by anyone. She came up behind Jesus and touched the edge of his cloak, and at once the bleeding stopped. Then Jesus asked, “Who was it who touched me?” When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the crowds are surrounding you and pressing against you!” But Jesus said, “Someone touched me, for I know that power has gone out from me.” When the woman saw that she could not escape notice, she came trembling and fell down before him. In the presence of all the people, she explained why she had touched him and how she had been immediately healed. Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”
While he was still speaking, someone from the synagogue ruler’s house came and said, “Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the teacher any longer.” But when Jesus heard this, he told him, “Do not be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.” Now when he came to the house, Jesus did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John, and James, and the child’s father and mother. Now they were all wailing and mourning for her, but he said, “Stop your weeping; she is not dead but asleep.” And they began making fun of him, because they knew that she was dead. But Jesus gently took her by the hand and said, “Child, get up.” Her spirit returned, and she got up immediately. Then he told them to give her something to eat. Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them to tell no one what had happened.