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Matthew 12

12
Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath Day
1One Sabbath day Jesus was walking through some grainfields. His disciples were hungry, so they began to break off heads of grain and eat them. 2The Pharisees saw this and told Jesus, “Look! Your disciples are doing something that’s against the Law to do on the Sabbath day!”
3Jesus answered, “Haven’t you read about what David did when he and his men were hungry? 4He went into the house of God, and he and his men ate the holy bread that only the priests were supposed to eat. 5Or haven’t you read in the Law how the priests in the temple do their regular work even on the Sabbath day, but they aren’t considered guilty? 6I tell you that something greater than the temple is here. 7Scripture says, ‘I want mercy and not sacrifice.’ If you knew what those words meant, you wouldn’t have accused people who were innocent. 8The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath day.”
9Jesus went on from that place and entered a synagogue. 10A man with a weak and twisted hand was there. The Pharisees wanted to accuse Jesus of doing something wrong, so they asked him, “Does the Law permit healing on the Sabbath day?”
11He answered them, “What if one of your sheep fell into a pit on the Sabbath day? Wouldn’t you grab hold of it and lift it out? 12A person is worth far more than a sheep! So the Law allows us to do good on the Sabbath day.”
13Then Jesus said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out, and it became as good as new, just as strong as the other hand. 14But the Pharisees went out and started making plans to kill Jesus.
God’s Chosen Servant
15Jesus knew what the Pharisees were planning, so he left that place. A large crowd followed him, and he healed everyone who was sick. 16But he warned them not to tell other people about him. 17This was to make what the prophet Isaiah had said come true:
18“Here is my servant, the one I have chosen.
He’s the one I love, and I’m very pleased with him.
I will put my Spirit on him,
and he’ll announce to the nations that everything is going to be made right.
19He won’t argue or cry out;
no one will hear his voice in the streets.
20He won’t break a bent twig,
and he won’t snuff out a smoldering wick.
He’ll make right win over wrong,
21and the nations will put their hope in him.”
Jesus and the Prince of Demons
22Then they brought Jesus a man who was controlled by demons that kept him from speaking or seeing. Jesus healed the man so that he could speak and see. 23All the people were amazed and asked, “Could this be the Son of David?”
24But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “This man drives out demons by the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons.”
25Jesus knew what they were thinking, and he said to them, “Every kingdom that fights against itself will be destroyed. Every city or family that is divided against itself will not last. 26If Satan drives out Satan, he’s fighting against himself, so how can his kingdom last? 27You say I drive out demons by the power of Beelzebul. Then by whose power do your own people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. 28But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is right here with you.
29“Or think about this. You can’t just walk into a strong man’s house and take what he owns. You have to tie him up first, and then you can rob his house.
30“Anyone who isn’t with me is against me, and anyone who doesn’t gather with me scatters. 31And so I tell you, every kind of sin and insult can be forgiven, but saying that the Holy Spirit is evil will not be forgiven. 32Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the one to come.
33“If you make a tree good, its fruit will be good. If you make a tree bad, its fruit will be bad. You can tell a tree by its fruit. 34You nest of vipers! How can you who are bad say anything good? Whatever is in your heart comes out of your mouth. 35Good people say good things out of the good that’s stored up inside them, but bad people say bad things out of what’s stored up inside them. 36I tell you that everyone will have to account on judgment day for every word they’ve spoken that hasn’t done any good. 37You’ll be found guilty or not guilty based on your words.”
The Sign of Jonah
38Some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus and said, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.”
39He answered, “It’s a rebellious and unfaithful generation that asks for a sign! But it won’t be given any except for the sign of the prophet Jonah. Just as 40Jonah was in the belly of a huge fish for three days and three nights, the Son of Man will spend three days and three nights in the grave. 41The people of Nineveh will stand up on judgment day with this generation and show that it’s guilty. They turned away from their sins when Jonah preached to them, and now something greater than Jonah is here. 42The Queen of the South will stand up on judgment day with this generation and show that it’s guilty. She came from far away to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now something greater than Solomon is here.
43“When an evil spirit comes out of a person, it goes through the deserts looking for a place to rest, but it doesn’t find any. 44Then it says, ‘I’ll return to the house I just left.’ When it gets back, it finds the house swept clean and put in order, with no one living in it. 45Then the evil spirit goes and gets seven other spirits that are even worse than it is, and they all go live there. Then the person is worse off than they were before. That’s how it will be with this rebellious generation.”
Jesus’ Mother and Brothers
46While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers came and stood outside, wanting to speak to him. 47Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside and they want to speak to you.”
48Jesus replied to him, “Who is my mother? And who are my brothers?” 49Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here is my mother! Here are my brothers! 50Anyone who does what my heavenly Father wants is my brother and sister and mother.”
12
Sabbath Questions
1At that particular time Jesus went through the grainfields on the #The seventh day of the week, the day of worship.Sabbath, and His disciples were hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat them. 2But when the Pharisees saw this, they said to Him, “Look! Your disciples are doing what #Picking grain to eat was not forbidden on the Sabbath. It was ridiculous for the Pharisees to try to equate gleaning for food with reaping a harvest (which was forbidden on the Sabbath).is unlawful on the Sabbath.” 3He said to them, “Have you not read [in the Scriptures] what David did when he was hungry, he and those who accompanied him— 4how he went into the house of God, and they ate the #The bread of the Presence, the twelve fresh loaves presented each Sabbath to the Lord in the Holy Place.consecrated bread, which was not lawful for him to eat nor for those with him, but for the priests only? 5Or have you not read in the Law, that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple break [the sanctity of] the Sabbath and yet are innocent? 6But I tell you that something greater than the temple is here. 7And if you had only known what this statement means, ‘I desire compassion [for those in distress], #I.e. more than.and not [animal] sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent.
Lord of the Sabbath
8 For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”
9Leaving there, He went into their synagogue. 10A man was there whose hand was withered. And they asked Jesus, “Is it lawful and permissible to heal on the Sabbath?”—they asked this so that they might accuse Him and bring charges into court. 11But He said to them, “What man is there among you who, if he has only one sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out? 12How much more valuable then is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful and permissible to do good on the Sabbath.” 13Then He said to the man, “Reach out your hand!” The man reached out and it was restored, as normal and healthy as the other. 14But the Pharisees went out and conspired against Him, discussing how they could destroy Him.
15Being aware of this, Jesus left there. Many followed Him, and He healed all of them [who were sick], 16and warned them not to tell [publicly] who He was. 17This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah:
18“Behold, My Servant whom I have chosen;
My Beloved in whom My soul is well-pleased;
I will put My Spirit upon Him,
And He will proclaim justice to the nations.
19He will not quarrel, nor cry out loudly;
Nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets.
20A battered reed He will not break,
And a smoldering wick He will not extinguish,
Until He leads justice to victory.
21And in His name the Gentiles (all the nations of the world) will hope [with confidence].”
The Pharisees Rebuked
22Then a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute was brought to Jesus, and He healed him, so that the mute man both spoke and saw. 23All the people wondered in amazement, and said, “Could this be the Son of David (the Messiah)?” 24But the Pharisees heard it and said, “This man #A statement of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. See vv 31, 32.casts out demons only by [the help of] Beelzebul (Satan) the prince of the demons.”
25Knowing their thoughts Jesus said to them, “Any kingdom that is divided against itself is being laid waste; and no city or house divided against itself will [continue to] stand. 26If Satan casts out Satan [that is, his demons], he has become divided against himself and disunited; how then will his kingdom stand? 27If I cast out the demons by [the help of] Beelzebul (Satan), by whom do your sons drive them out? For this reason they will be your judges. 28But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out the demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you [before you expected it]. 29Or how can anyone go into a strong man’s house and steal his property unless he first overpowers and ties up the strong man? Then he will ransack and rob his house.
The Unpardonable Sin
30 He who is not with Me [once and for all on My side] is against Me; and he who does not [unequivocally] gather with Me scatters.
31 “Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy [every evil, abusive, injurious speaking, or indignity against sacred things] will be forgiven people, but #Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is denying all the work of the Holy Spirit. This leads ultimately to rejecting the deity of Christ.blasphemy against the [Holy] Spirit will not be forgiven. 32Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit [by attributing the miracles done by Me to Satan] will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.
Words Reveal Character
33 “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is recognized and judged by its fruit. 34You brood of vipers, how can you speak good things when you are evil? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. 35The good man, from his [inner] good treasure, brings out good things; and the evil man, from his [inner] evil treasure, brings out evil things. 36But I tell you, on the day of judgment people will have to give an accounting for every careless or useless word they speak. 37For by your words [reflecting your spiritual condition] you will be justified and acquitted of the guilt of sin; and by your words [rejecting Me] you will be condemned and sentenced.”
The Desire for Signs
38Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign (attesting miracle) from You [proving that You are what You claim to be].” 39But He replied and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation [that is morally unfaithful to God] craves and demands a [miraculous] sign; but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah; 40for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41The men of Nineveh will stand up [as witnesses] at the judgment against this generation, and will condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and now, something greater than Jonah is here. 42The Queen of the South (Sheba) will stand up [as a witness] at the judgment against this generation, and will condemn it because she came from the ends of the earth to listen to the wisdom of Solomon; and now, something greater than Solomon is here.
43 “Now when the unclean spirit has gone out of a man, it roams through waterless (dry, arid) places in search of rest, but it does not find it. 44Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it arrives, it finds the place unoccupied, swept, and put in order. 45Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and make their home there. And the last condition of that man becomes worse than the first. So will it also be with this wicked generation.”
Changed Relationships
46While He was still talking to the crowds, it happened that His mother and brothers stood outside, asking to speak to Him. 47Someone said to Him, “Look! Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside asking to speak to You.” 48But Jesus replied to the one who told Him, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” 49And stretching out His hand toward His disciples [and all His other followers], He said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! 50For #A universal offer without restriction.whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven [by believing in Me, and following Me] is My brother and sister and mother.”