Last Updated on May 24, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 153
Context: Jesus, beginning His ministry in the area around the Sea of Galilee near His native Nazareth, attracts large crowds as He preaches, miraculously heals, and casts out demons. From His multitude of followers He ordains twelve disciples. He and His disciples withdraw to a house, but they are unable to eat because of the crowds. When Jesus' friends hear this situation, they come and seize Him because they think that He is beside Himself. The scribes, Jewish religious leaders from Jerusalem, assert that He is possessed of Beelzebub, the prince of demons. Jesus, however, speaking parables to them, reasons that it is impossible for Satan to cast out himself. He adds:
And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.
And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end.