He went up the mountain and called to him those whom he wanted, and they came to him. And he appointed twelve, whom he also named apostles, to be with him, and to be sent out to proclaim the message, and to have authority to cast out demons. So he appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); James son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); and Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
Then he went home; and the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat. When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, ‘He has gone out of his mind.’ And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, ‘He has Beelzebul, and by the ruler of the demons he casts out demons.’ And he called them to him, and spoke to them in parables, ‘How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but his end has come. But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his property without first tying up the strong man; then indeed the house can be plundered.
‘Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin’— for they had said, ‘He has an unclean spirit.’
Growing up I always thought that there were just three political parties in the UK: Conservatives, Labour and Liberal. The first time I became aware that these parties were not particularly united within themselves was when the Liberal Party became the Liberal Democrats. Of course, as I have grown older, and considerably less wise, I have realised that political parties are themselves full of factions… the European Research Group, Momentum and so on. I’m sure that the Liberal Democrats probably have factions too – but there are so few of them that it seems likely that each individual MP is their own faction. And they fight amongst themselves instead of working together, united as one party, to try and reform whatever unfair policies the other parties are suggesting. “A kingdom that fights against itself will not survive. And a family that is divided will not survive. If Satan is against himself and is fighting against his own people, he will not survive. That would be the end of Satan” So, that’s political parties warned, then, eh? Thank goodness we Christian denominations aren’t like that.
Loving God, You have told us what is good. You have told us to act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with you. We promise to try better. Amen
Leo Roberts, Children and Youth Development Officer, North Western Synod