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Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath(A)

12 At that time, Jesus walked through the grain fields on a Sabbath.[a] His disciples became hungry and began picking heads of grain to eat. When the Pharisees saw this, they told him, “Look! Your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath!”

But he told them, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? How is it that he went into the house of God and ate the Bread of the Presence, which was not lawful for him and his companions to eat but was reserved[b] for the priests? Or haven’t you read in the Law that on every Sabbath[c] the priests in the Temple violate the Sabbath[d] and yet are innocent?[e] But I tell you, something greater than the Temple is here! If you had known what ‘I want mercy and not sacrifice’[f] means, you would not have condemned the innocent, for the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”

Jesus Heals a Man with a Paralyzed Hand(B)

Moving on from there, Jesus[g] went into their synagogue. 10 Suddenly, a man with a paralyzed hand appeared. The people[h] asked Jesus[i] if it was lawful to heal on Sabbath days,[j] intending to accuse him of doing something wrong.

11 But he asked them, “Is there a man among you who, if he had one sheep and it fell into a ditch on the Sabbath, wouldn’t take hold of it and pull it out? 12 How much more is a human being worth than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on Sabbath days.”[k]

13 Then he told the man, “Hold out your hand.” He held it out and it became normal, as healthy as his other hand. 14 The Pharisees, however, went out and plotted against Jesus[l] to kill him.

Jesus, God’s Chosen Servant

15 When Jesus became aware of this, he left that place. Many crowds[m] followed him, and he healed all of them, 16 ordering them not to make him known. 17 This was to fulfill what was declared by the prophet Isaiah when he said,

18 “Here is my Servant whom I have chosen,
    whom I love, and with whom I am pleased!
I will put my Spirit on him,
    and he will proclaim justice[n] to unbelievers.[o]
19 He will not quarrel or shout,
    and no one will hear him shouting[p] in the streets.
20 He will not snap off a broken reed
    or snuff out a smoldering wick
        until he has brought justice[q] through to victory.
21 And in his name unbelievers[r] will hope.”[s]

Jesus is Accused of Working with Beelzebul(C)

22 Then a demon-possessed man who was blind and unable to talk was brought to him. Jesus[t] healed him so that the man[u] could speak and see. 23 All the crowds were amazed and kept saying, “This man isn’t the Son of David, is he?”

24 But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “This man drives out demons only by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.”

25 He knew what they were thinking and told them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is destroyed, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. 26 So if Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How, then, can his kingdom stand? 27 If I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your own followers[v] drive them out? That is why they will be your judges! 28 But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you. 29 How can someone go into a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions without first tying up the strong man? Then he can ransack his house. 30 The person who isn’t with me is against me, and the person who isn’t gathering with me is scattering. 31 So I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven,[w] but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the one to come.”

A Tree is Known by Its Fruit(D)

33 “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree rotten and its fruit rotten, because a tree is known by its fruit. 34 You children of serpents! How can you say anything good when you are evil? The mouth speaks about what overflows from the heart. 35 A good person brings good things out of a good treasure house, and an evil person brings evil things out of an evil treasure house. 36 I tell you, on Judgment Day people will give an account for every thoughtless[x] word they have uttered, 37 because by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

The Sign of Jonah(E)

38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees told Jesus,[y] “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.”

39 But he replied to them, “An evil and adulterous generation craves a sign. Yet no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah, 40 because just as Jonah was in the stomach of the sea creature for three days and three nights,[z] so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. 41 The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment and condemn the people living today,[aa] because they repented at the preaching of Jonah. But look—something greater than Jonah is here! 42 The queen of the south will stand up and condemn the people living today,[ab] because she came from so far away[ac] to hear the wisdom of Solomon. But look! Something greater than Solomon is here!”

The Return of the Unclean Spirit(F)

43 “Whenever an unclean spirit goes out of a person, it wanders through waterless places looking for a place to rest, but finds none. 44 Then it says, ‘I will go back to my home that I left.’ When it arrives, it finds it empty, swept clean, and put in order. 45 Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and settle there. And so the final condition of that person becomes worse than the first. That’s just what will happen to this evil generation!”

The True Family of Jesus(G)

46 While Jesus[ad] was still speaking to the crowds, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. 47 Someone told him, “Look! Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, asking to speak to you.”[ae]

48 He asked the man who told him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49 Then pointing with his hand at his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers, 50 because whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”


  1. Matthew 12:1 Lit. on the Sabbaths
  2. Matthew 12:4 Lit. but only
  3. Matthew 12:5 Lit. on the Sabbaths
  4. Matthew 12:5 I.e. by carrying out priestly duties
  5. Matthew 12:5 Cf. Exod 25:30; 29:32-33; Lev 8:31
  6. Matthew 12:7 Cf. Hos 6:6
  7. Matthew 12:9 Lit. he
  8. Matthew 12:10 Lit. They
  9. Matthew 12:10 Lit. him
  10. Matthew 12:10 Lit. on the Sabbaths
  11. Matthew 12:12 Lit. on the Sabbaths
  12. Matthew 12:14 Lit. him
  13. Matthew 12:15 Other mss. lack crowds
  14. Matthew 12:18 Or judgment
  15. Matthew 12:18 Lit. gentiles; i.e. unbelieving non-Jews
  16. Matthew 12:19 Lit. hear his voice
  17. Matthew 12:20 Or judgment
  18. Matthew 12:21 Lit. gentiles; i.e. unbelieving non-Jews
  19. Matthew 12:21 Cf. Isa 42:1-4
  20. Matthew 12:22 Lit. He
  21. Matthew 12:22 Lit. the man who was unable to talk
  22. Matthew 12:27 Lit. sons
  23. Matthew 12:31 Lit. will be forgiven to people
  24. Matthew 12:36 Or worthless
  25. Matthew 12:38 Lit. him
  26. Matthew 12:40 Cf. Jonah 1:17
  27. Matthew 12:41 Lit. judgment with this generation and condemn it
  28. Matthew 12:42 Lit. judgment with this generation and condemn it
  29. Matthew 12:42 Lit. from the ends of the earth
  30. Matthew 12:46 Lit. he
  31. Matthew 12:47 Other mss. lack this verse