Matthew 12 Expanded Bible (EXB)
Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath
12 At that time Jesus was walking through some fields of grain on a Sabbath day. His ·followers [disciples] were hungry, so they began to pick the grain and eat it [Deut. 23:25]. 2 When the Pharisees saw this, they said to Jesus, “Look! Your ·followers [disciples] are doing what is ·unlawful to do [forbidden] on the Sabbath day.” [C Gleaning was viewed as work, and therefore forbidden on the Sabbath; Ex. 34:21.]
3 Jesus answered, “Have you not read what David did when he and ·the people with him [his companions] were hungry? 4 He went into God’s house, and he and ·those with him [his companions] ate the ·holy bread [consecrated bread; L bread of presentation], which was ·lawful [allowed] only for priests to eat [Ex. 25:30; Lev. 24:5–9]. 5 And have you not read in the ·law of Moses [L Law] that on every Sabbath day the priests in the Temple ·break this law about [violate; desecrate; profane] the Sabbath day [C by working when they offer sacrifices]? But the priests are ·not wrong for doing that [L innocent; not guilty]. 6 I tell you that there is ·something [or someone; C may refer to Jesus himself or to the arrival of the kingdom] here that is greater than the Temple. 7 The Scripture says, ‘I want ·kindness more than I want animal sacrifices [L mercy and not sacrifice; Hos. 6:6].’ If you ·understood [had known] what these words mean, you would not have ·judged those who have done nothing wrong [condemned the innocent/guiltless].
8 “·So [For] the Son of Man is ·Lord [Master] of the Sabbath day.”
Jesus Heals a Man’s Hand
9 Jesus left there and went into their synagogue, 10 ·where [L and look/T behold] there was a man with a ·crippled [paralyzed; deformed; shriveled] hand. They were looking for a reason to ·accuse [bring charges against] Jesus, so they asked him, “Is it ·right [lawful] to ·heal [cure] on the Sabbath day?”
11 Jesus answered, “If any of you has a sheep, and it falls into a ·ditch [pit; hole] on the Sabbath day, ·you will [would you not…?] ·help [L grab it and lift] it out of the ditch. 12 ·Surely a human being is more important [L How much better is a person] than a sheep. So it is ·lawful [permitted] to do ·good things [good] on the Sabbath day.”
13 Then Jesus said to the man, “·Hold [Stretch] out your hand.” The man ·held [stretched] out his hand, and it ·became well again [was restored], ·like [L as healthy as] the other hand. 14 But the Pharisees left and ·made plans [plotted; conspired] to ·kill [destroy] Jesus.
Jesus Is God’s Chosen Servant
15 Jesus knew ·what the Pharisees were doing [L this], so he left that place. ·Many people [Large crowds] followed him, and he healed all who were sick. 16 But Jesus warned the people not to ·tell who he was [make him known]. 17 He did these things to ·bring about [fulfill] what Isaiah the prophet had said:
18 “·Here is [L Behold; Look!] my servant whom I have chosen.
Jesus’ Power Is from God
22 Then some people brought to Jesus a man who was blind and ·could not talk [mute], because he ·had a demon [was demon-possessed/demonized]. Jesus healed the man so that he could talk and see. 23 All the people were amazed and said, “Perhaps this man is the Son of David [C a title for the Messiah, a descendant of King David; 2 Sam. 7:11–16]!”
24 When the Pharisees heard this, they said, “This man uses the power of Beelzebul [C another name for Satan], the ruler of demons, to ·force [drive; cast] demons out of people.”
25 Jesus knew what the Pharisees were thinking, so he said to them, “Every kingdom that is ·divided against [at war with] itself ·will be destroyed [is doomed/headed for ruin]. And any city or ·family [L house] that is ·divided against [at war with] itself will not ·continue [survive; stand]. 26 And if Satan ·forces out himself [L drives/casts out Satan], then Satan is ·divided against [at war with] himself, and ·his kingdom will not continue [L how will his kingdom stand?]. 27 You say that I use the power of Beelzebul [v. 24] to ·force [drive; cast] out demons. If that is true, then what power do your ·people [own exorcists; followers; L sons] use to ·force [drive; force] out demons? So they will be your judges. 28 But if I use the power of God’s Spirit to ·force [drive; cast] out demons, then the kingdom of God has ·come to you [arrived among you; or overtaken you; caught you unaware].
29 “·If anyone wants to [L Or how can anyone…?] enter a strong person’s house and ·steal [seize; plunder] his things, he must first ·tie up [bind] the strong person. Then he can ·steal [seize; plunder] the things from the house. [C Satan is the strong man and his possessions are the people Jesus is freeing from Satan’s power.]
The Sin Against the Holy Spirit
30 “Whoever is not with me is against me. Whoever does not ·work [gather] with me ·is working against me [scatters; C probably a reference to gathering or scattering a flock; John 10:12]. 31 So I tell you, people can be forgiven for every sin and ·everything they say against God [blasphemy]. But whoever ·speaks [blasphemes] against the ·Holy Spirit [L Spirit] will not be forgiven. 32 Anyone who speaks against the Son of Man can be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, ·now or in the future [L neither in this age, nor the one to come].
People Know You by Your Words
33 “If you want good fruit, you must ·make the tree good [grow a good/healthy tree]. If ·your tree is not good [you grow a bad/unhealthy tree], it will have bad fruit. A tree is ·known [identified; recognized] by the kind of fruit it produces. 34 You ·snakes [T brood/offspring of vipers]! You are evil people, so how can you say anything good? [L For] The mouth speaks the things that ·are in [overflow from] the heart. 35 Good people ·have good things in their hearts, and so they say good things [L bring forth good things from the good treasure/storehouse]. But evil people ·have evil in their hearts, so they say evil things [L bring forth evil things from the evil treasure/storehouse]. 36 And I tell you that on the judgment day people will ·be responsible [give an accounting; answer] for every ·careless [idle; thoughtless; unhelpful] ·thing [word] they have said. 37 ·The words you have said will be used to judge you. Some of your words will prove you right, but some of your words will prove you guilty [L For by your words you will be acquitted/justified, and by your words you will be condemned].”
The People Ask for a Miracle
38 Then some of the Pharisees and ·teachers of the law [scribes] answered Jesus, saying, “Teacher, we want to see ·you work a miracle as a sign [L a sign from you].”
39 Jesus answered, “Evil and sinful people [L An evil and adulterous/unfaithful generation] are the ones who ·want to see [seek after; ask for; demand] ·a miracle for a sign [L a sign]. But no sign will be given to them, except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 [L For just as] Jonah was in the stomach of the ·big fish [sea monster; sea creature] for three days and three nights [Jon. 1:17]. In the same way, the Son of Man will be in the ·grave [L heart of the earth] three days and three nights. 41 On the judgment day the ·people [or men] from Nineveh will stand up with ·you people who live now [this generation], and they will ·show that you are guilty [condemn you]. [L Because] When Jonah preached to them, they ·were sorry and changed their lives [repented]. And ·I tell you that [L look; T behold] ·someone [or something; C either Jesus or the Kingdom of God] greater than Jonah is here. 42 On the judgment day, the Queen of the South will ·stand [rise] up with ·you people who live today [this generation]. She will ·show that you are guilty [condemn you], because she came from ·far away [the ends of the earth] to listen to Solomon’s wise teaching [1 Kin. 10:1–13]. And ·I tell you that [L look; T behold] ·someone [or something] greater than Solomon is here.
People Today Are Full of Evil
43 “When an ·evil [defiling; L unclean] spirit comes out of a person, it travels through ·dry [waterless; arid] places, looking for a place to rest, but it doesn’t find it. 44 So the spirit says, ‘I will go back to the house [C the person] I left.’ When the spirit comes back, it finds the house still empty, swept clean, and ·made neat [put in order; fixed up]. 45 Then the evil spirit goes out and brings seven other spirits even more ·evil [wicked] than it is, and they go in and live there. So ·the person has even more trouble than before [L the last state of that person is worse than the first]. ·It is the same way [L So it will be] with ·the evil people who live today [this evil generation].”
Jesus’ True Family
46 While Jesus was talking to the ·people [crowds], [L look; T behold] his mother and ·brothers [or brothers and sisters; C the Greek word can mean “siblings”] stood outside, ·trying to find a way [seeking; asking] to talk to him. 47 Someone told Jesus, “[L Look; T Behold] Your mother and brothers [and sisters] are standing outside, ·and they want [seeking; asking] to talk to you.”[a]
48 He answered, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers [and sisters]?” 49 Then he ·pointed to [or stretched out his hand toward] his ·followers [disciples] and said, “·Here are [L Look; T Behold] my mother and my brothers. 50 My true brother and sister and mother are those who do ·what my Father in heaven wants [the will of my Father in heaven].”
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