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Matthew 12 New King James Version (NKJV)

Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath

12 At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. And His disciples were hungry, and began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, “Look, Your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath!”

But He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and ate the showbread which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? Or have you not read in the law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple [a]profane the Sabbath, and are blameless? Yet I say to you that in this place there is One greater than the temple. But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of Man is Lord [b]even of the Sabbath.”

Healing on the Sabbath

Now when He had departed from there, He went into their synagogue. 10 And behold, there was a man who had a withered hand. And they asked Him, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”—that they might accuse Him.

11 Then He said to them, “What man is there among you who has one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out? 12 Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep? Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” 13 Then He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and it was restored as whole as the other. 14 Then the Pharisees went out and plotted against Him, how they might destroy Him.

Behold, My Servant

15 But when Jesus knew it, He withdrew from there. And great [c]multitudes followed Him, and He healed them all. 16 Yet He warned them not to make Him known, 17 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying:

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 declare justice to the Gentiles.
19 He will not quarrel nor cry out,
Nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets.
20 A bruised reed He will not break,
And smoking flax He will not quench,
Till He sends forth justice to victory;
21 And in His name Gentiles will trust.”

A House Divided Cannot Stand

22 Then one was brought to Him who was demon-possessed, blind and mute; and He healed him, so that the [d]blind and mute man both spoke and saw. 23 And all the multitudes were amazed and said, “Could this be the Son of David?”

24 Now when the Pharisees heard it they said, “This fellow does not cast out demons except by [e]Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.”

25 But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. 26 If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? 27 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. 28 But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29 Or how can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house. 30 He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.

The Unpardonable Sin

31 “Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, 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 age to come.

A Tree Known by Its Fruit

33 “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. 34 Brood[f] of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 A good man out of the good treasure [g]of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. 36 But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. 37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

The Scribes and Pharisees Ask for a Sign

38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.”

39 But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here. 42 The queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and indeed a greater than Solomon is here.

An Unclean Spirit Returns

43 “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. 44 Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. 45 Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.”

Jesus’ Mother and Brothers Send for Him

46 While He was still talking to the multitudes, behold, His mother and brothers stood outside, seeking to speak with Him. 47 Then one said to Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, seeking to speak with You.”

48 But He answered and said to the one who told Him, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” 49 And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and 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 12:5 desecrate
  2. Matthew 12:8 NU, M omit even
  3. Matthew 12:15 NU brackets multitudes as disputed.
  4. Matthew 12:22 NU omits blind and
  5. Matthew 12:24 NU, M Beelzebul, a Philistine deity
  6. Matthew 12:34 Offspring
  7. Matthew 12:35 NU, M omit of his heart
New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Matthew 12 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Sabbath Questions

12 At that [a]time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath, and His disciples became hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat. But when the Pharisees saw this, they said to Him, “Look, Your disciples do what is not lawful to do on a Sabbath.” But He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he became hungry, he and his companions, how he entered the house of God, and they ate the [b]consecrated bread, which was not lawful for him to eat nor for those with him, but for the priests alone? Or have you not read in the Law, that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple [c]break the Sabbath and are innocent? But I say to you that something greater than the temple is here. But if you had known what this [d]means, ‘I desire [e]compassion, and not a sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent.

Lord of the Sabbath

For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”

Departing from there, He went into their synagogue. 10 And a man was there whose hand was withered. And they questioned [f]Jesus, asking, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”—so that they might accuse Him. 11 And He said to them, What man [g]is there among you who [h]has a sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will he not take hold of it and lift it out? 12 How much more valuable then is a man than a sheep! So then, it is lawful to do [i]good on the Sabbath.” 13 Then He *said to the man, “Stretch out your hand!” He stretched it out, and it was restored to [j]normal, like the other. 14 But the Pharisees went out and [k]conspired against Him, as to how they might destroy Him.

15 But Jesus, [l]aware of this, withdrew from there. Many followed Him, and He healed them all, 16 and warned them not to [m]tell who He was. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet:

18 Behold, My [n]Servant whom I [o]have chosen;
My Beloved in whom My soul [p]is well-pleased;
I will put My Spirit upon Him,
And He shall proclaim [q]justice to the [r]Gentiles.
19 He will not quarrel, nor cry out;
Nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets.
20 A battered reed He will not break off,
And a smoldering wick He will not put out,
Until He [s]leads [t]justice to victory.
21 And in His name the [u]Gentiles will hope.”

The Pharisees Rebuked

22 Then a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute was brought to [v]Jesus, and He healed him, so that the mute man spoke and saw. 23 All the crowds were amazed, and were saying, “This man cannot be the Son of David, can he?” 24 But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “This man casts out demons only by [w]Beelzebul the ruler of the demons.”

25 And knowing their thoughts Jesus said to them, [x]Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and [y]any city or house divided against itself will not stand. 26 If Satan casts out Satan, he [z]is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand? 27 If I by [aa]Beelzebul cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? For this reason they will be your judges. 28 But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29 Or how can anyone enter the strong man’s house and carry off his property, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.

The Unpardonable Sin

30 He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.

31 Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. 32 Whoever [ab]speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever [ac]speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, 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 known by its fruit. 34 You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak [ad]what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. 35 The good man brings out of his good treasure [ae]what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure [af]what is evil. 36 But I tell you that every [ag]careless word that people [ah]speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. 37 For [ai]by your words you will be justified, and [aj]by your words you will be condemned.”

The Desire for Signs

38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Him, “Teacher, we want to see a [ak]sign from You.” 39 But He answered and said to them, An evil and adulterous generation craves for a [al]sign; and yet no [am]sign will be given to it but the [an]sign of Jonah the prophet; 40 for 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. 41 The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment, and will condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. 42 The Queen of the South will rise up with this generation at the judgment and will condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.

43 Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and does not find it. 44 Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came’; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order. 45 Then it goes and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation.”

Changed Relationships

46 While He was still speaking to the crowds, behold, His mother and brothers were standing outside, seeking to speak to Him. 47 Someone said to Him, “Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak to You.”[ao] 48 But [ap]Jesus answered the one who was telling Him and said, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” 49 And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, “Behold My mother and My brothers! 50 For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.”

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 12:1 Or occasion
  2. Matthew 12:4 Or showbread; lit loaves of presentation
  3. Matthew 12:5 Or profane
  4. Matthew 12:7 Lit is
  5. Matthew 12:7 Or mercy
  6. Matthew 12:10 Lit Him
  7. Matthew 12:11 Lit will be from you
  8. Matthew 12:11 Lit will have
  9. Matthew 12:12 Lit well
  10. Matthew 12:13 Lit health
  11. Matthew 12:14 Lit took counsel
  12. Matthew 12:15 Lit knowing
  13. Matthew 12:16 Lit make Him known
  14. Matthew 12:18 Lit Child
  15. Matthew 12:18 Lit chose
  16. Matthew 12:18 Or took pleasure
  17. Matthew 12:18 Or judgment
  18. Matthew 12:18 Or nations
  19. Matthew 12:20 Or puts forth
  20. Matthew 12:20 Or judgment
  21. Matthew 12:21 Or nations
  22. Matthew 12:22 Lit Him
  23. Matthew 12:24 Or Beezebul; i.e. ruler of demons
  24. Matthew 12:25 Lit Every
  25. Matthew 12:25 Lit Every
  26. Matthew 12:26 Lit was
  27. Matthew 12:27 V 24, note 1
  28. Matthew 12:32 Lit will speak
  29. Matthew 12:32 Lit will speak
  30. Matthew 12:34 Lit good things
  31. Matthew 12:35 Lit good things
  32. Matthew 12:35 Lit evil things
  33. Matthew 12:36 Or useless
  34. Matthew 12:36 Lit will speak
  35. Matthew 12:37 Or in accordance with
  36. Matthew 12:37 Or in accordance with
  37. Matthew 12:38 I.e. attesting miracle
  38. Matthew 12:39 I.e. attesting miracle
  39. Matthew 12:39 I.e. attesting miracle
  40. Matthew 12:39 I.e. attesting miracle
  41. Matthew 12:47 This verse is not found in early mss
  42. Matthew 12:48 Lit He
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

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