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Matthew 12 International Standard Version (ISV)

Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.”

Footnotes:

  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
International Standard Version (ISV)

Copyright © 1995-2014 by ISV Foundation. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED INTERNATIONALLY. Used by permission of Davidson Press, LLC.

Matthew 12 New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath

12 At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath.”

He answered, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread—which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests. Or haven’t you read in the Law that the priests on Sabbath duty in the temple desecrate the Sabbath and yet are innocent? I tell you that something greater than the temple is here. If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’[a] you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”

Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, 10 and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to bring charges against Jesus, they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”

11 He said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? 12 How much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”

13 Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other. 14 But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.

God’s Chosen Servant

15 Aware of this, Jesus withdrew from that place. A large crowd followed him, and he healed all who were ill. 16 He warned them not to tell others about him. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:

18 “Here is my servant whom I have chosen,
    the one I love, in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him,
    and he will proclaim justice to the nations.
19 He will not quarrel or cry out;
    no one will hear his voice in the streets.
20 A bruised reed he will not break,
    and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out,
till he has brought justice through to victory.
21     In his name the nations will put their hope.”[b]

Jesus and Beelzebul

22 Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see. 23 All the people were astonished and said, “Could this be the Son of David?”

24 But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.”

25 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. 26 If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand? 27 And if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. 28 But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

29 “Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can plunder his house.

30 “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. 31 And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 Anyone 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 age to come.

33 “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. 34 You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. 35 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. 36 But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. 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 Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.”

39 He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now something greater than Jonah is here. 42 The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now something greater than Solomon is here.

43 “When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. 44 Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. 45 Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.”

Jesus’ Mother and Brothers

46 While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. 47 Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.”

48 He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49 Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 12:7 Hosea 6:6
  2. Matthew 12:21 Isaiah 42:1-4
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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