Matthew 12

Lord of the Sabbath

1 At that time Jesus passed through the grainfields on the Sabbath. a His disciples b were hungry and began to pick and eat some heads of grain. 2 But when the
Pharisee(s): In Judaism a religious sect that followed the whole written and oral law
Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, “Look, Your disciples are doing what is not lawful d to do on the Sabbath!”

3He said to them, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and those who were with him were hungry 4 how he entered the house of God, and they ate
Other mss read he ate
sacred bread: Literally bread of presentation; 12 loaves, representing the 12 tribes of Israel, put on the table in the holy place in the tabernacle, and later in the temple. The priests ate the previous week's loaves; Ex 25:30; 29:32; Lv 24:5-9.
sacred bread, which is not lawful for him or for those with him to eat, but only for the priests? g
5 Or haven’t you read in the Law
= The Torah (the Pentateuch)
that on Sabbath days the priests in the temple violate the Sabbath and are innocent? i
6 But I tell you that something greater than the temple is here! j 7 If you had known what this means: I desire mercy and not sacrifice, k , l you would not have condemned the innocent. 8 For the
Son of Man: The most frequent title Jesus used for Himself; Dn 7:13
Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” n

The Man with the Paralyzed Hand

9 Moving on from there, He entered their
synagogue(s): A place where the Jewish people met for prayer, worship and teaching of the Scriptures
synagogue. p
10There 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?” q

11 But He said to them, “What man among you, if he had a sheep
Or had one sheep
that fell into a pit on the Sabbath, wouldn’t take hold of it and lift it out? s
12A man is worth far more than a sheep, t so it is lawful to do what is good on the Sabbath.”

13 Then He told the man, “Stretch out your hand.So he stretched it out, and it was restored, u as good as the other. 14 But the Pharisees went out and plotted against Him, how they might destroy Him. v

The Servant of the Lord

15 When Jesus became aware of this, He withdrew from there. Huge crowds
Other mss read Many
followed Him, and He healed them all. x
16He warned them not to make Him known, y 17so that what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:

18 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. z
19 He will not argue or shout,
and no one will hear His voice in the streets.
20 He will not break a bruised reed,
and He will not put out a smoldering wick,
until He has led justice to victory.
Or until He has successfully put forth justice

21 The nations will put their hope in His name. ab , ac

A House Divided

22 Then a demon-possessed man ad who was blind and unable to speak was brought to Him. He healed him, so that the man
Lit mute
could both speak and see. af
23 And all the crowds were astounded and said, “Perhaps this is the Son of David!” ag

24When the Pharisees heard this, they said, “The man drives out demons only by
Beelzebul: A term of slander, which was variously interpreted "lord of flies," "lord of dung," or "ruler of demons"; 2 Kg 1:2; Mk 3:22
Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.” ai

25 Knowing their thoughts, aj He told them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is headed for destruction, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. 26 If Satan ak drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? 27 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. al 28 If I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you. am 29 How can someone enter a strong man’s house and steal his possessions unless he first ties up an the strong man? Then he can rob his house. 30 Anyone who is not with Me is against Me, ao and anyone who does not gather with Me scatters. 31Because of this, ap I tell you, people will be forgiven every sin and blasphemy, aq but the blasphemy against
Or of
the Spirit will not be forgiven.
Other mss add people
32 Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, at 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. au

A Tree and Its Fruit

33 “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad
Or decayed; lit rotten
and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. aw
34 Brood of vipers! How can you speak good things when you are evil? For the mouth speaks from the overflow ax of the heart. 35 A good man produces good things from his storeroom of good,
Other mss read from the storehouse of his heart
and an evil man produces evil things from his storeroom of evil. az
36I tell you that on the day of judgment ba people will have to account bb for every careless word they speak.
Lit will speak
37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.

The Sign of Jonah

38 Then some of the
scribe(s): A professional group in Judaism that copied the law of Moses and interpreted it, especially in legal cases
scribes and Pharisees said to Him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.” be

39 But He answered them, bf “An evil and adulterous generation demands a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. bg 40 For as Jonah was in the belly of the huge fish three days and three nights, bh so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights. 41The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, bi because they repented at Jonah’s proclamation; and look – something greater than Jonah is here! bj 42The queen of the south bk 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!

An Unclean Spirit’s Return

43 “When an
unclean: When something is clean, it is holy or acceptable to God. When it is unclean, it is unholy (such as an unclean spirit). The term can be used in a ritual sense to apply to moral standards for living.
unclean spirit comes out of a man, it roams through waterless places looking for rest but doesn’t find any. bm
44 Then it says, ‘I’ll go back to my house that I came from.’ And returning, it finds the house vacant, swept, and put in order. 45 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. bn That’s how it will also be with this evil generation.”

True Relationships

46 He bo was still speaking to the crowds when suddenly His mother and brothers were standing outside wanting to speak to Him. bp 47 Someone told Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to You.”
Other mss omit this v.

48 But He replied to the one who told Him, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers? 49 And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, br He said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! 50 For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven, that person is My brother and sister and mother.” bs
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