Sabbath Questions

[a]At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath, and His disciples became hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat. Now when the Pharisees saw this, they said to Him, “Look, Your disciples are doing 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]violate the Sabbath, and yet 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, [f]rather than sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned [g]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 [h]Jesus, asking, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”—so that they might bring charges against Him. 11 But He said to them, “What man [i]is there among you who [j]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 person than a sheep! So then, it is lawful to do [k]good on the Sabbath.” 13 Then He *said to the man, “Stretch out your hand!” He stretched it out, and it was restored to [l]normal, like the other. 14 But the Pharisees went out and [m]conspired against Him, as to how they might destroy Him.

15 But Jesus, [n]aware of this, withdrew from there. Many followed Him, and He healed them all, 16 and warned them not to [o]tell who He was. 17 This happened so that what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet would be fulfilled:

18 “Behold, My [p]Servant whom I [q]have chosen;

My Beloved in whom My soul [r]delights;

I will put My Spirit upon Him,

And He will proclaim [s]justice to the [t]Gentiles.

19 He will not quarrel, nor cry out;

Nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets.

20 A bent reed He will not break off,

And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish,

Until He [u]leads [v]justice to victory.

21 And in His name the [w]Gentiles will hope.”

The Pharisees Rebuked

22 Then a demon-possessed man who was blind and unable to speak was brought to [x]Jesus, and He healed him so that the man who was unable to speak talked and [y]could see. 23 And 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 [z]Beelzebul the ruler of the demons.”

25 And knowing their thoughts, Jesus said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and no city or house divided against itself will stand. 26 And if Satan is casting out Satan, he [aa]has become divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand? 27 And if by [ab]Beelzebul I cast out the demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore, they will be your judges. 28 But if I cast out the 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 ties up the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.

The Unpardonable Sin

30 The one who is not with Me is against Me; and the one who does not gather with Me scatters.

31 “Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. 32 And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever 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 [ac]assume the tree to be good as well as its fruit good, or [ad]assume the tree to be bad as well as its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit. 34 You [ae]offspring of vipers, how can you, being evil, express any good things? For the mouth speaks from that which fills the heart. 35 The good person brings out of his good treasure good things; and the evil person brings out of his evil treasure evil things. 36 But I tell you that for every [af]careless word that people [ag]speak, they will give an account of it on the day of judgment. 37 For [ah]by your words you will be justified, and [ai]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 [aj]sign from You.” 39 But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation craves a [ak]sign; and so no [al]sign will be given to it except the [am]sign of Jonah the prophet; 40 for just as Jonah was in the stomach of the sea monster for three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. 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 comes out of a person, 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 brings along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they come in and live there; and the last condition of that person 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 [[an]Someone said to Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, seeking to speak to You.”] 48 But [ao]Jesus replied to the one who was telling Him and said, “Who is My mother, and who are My brothers?” 49 And extending 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.”


  1. Matthew 12:1 Or On that occasion
  2. Matthew 12:4 Lit loaves of presentation
  3. Matthew 12:5 Or profane
  4. Matthew 12:7 Lit is
  5. Matthew 12:7 Or mercy
  6. Matthew 12:7 Lit and not
  7. Matthew 12:7 Plural in the Gr
  8. Matthew 12:10 Lit Him
  9. Matthew 12:11 Lit will be from you
  10. Matthew 12:11 Lit will have
  11. Matthew 12:12 Lit well
  12. Matthew 12:13 Lit health
  13. Matthew 12:14 Lit took counsel
  14. Matthew 12:15 Lit knowing
  15. Matthew 12:16 Lit make Him known
  16. Matthew 12:18 Lit Child
  17. Matthew 12:18 Lit chose
  18. Matthew 12:18 Or took pleasure
  19. Matthew 12:18 Or judgment
  20. Matthew 12:18 Or nations
  21. Matthew 12:20 Or brings forth
  22. Matthew 12:20 Or judgment
  23. Matthew 12:21 Or nations
  24. Matthew 12:22 Lit Him
  25. Matthew 12:22 Lit saw
  26. Matthew 12:24 Or Beezebul; meaning uncertain, perhaps lord prince, referring to Satan
  27. Matthew 12:26 Lit was
  28. Matthew 12:27 See note v 24
  29. Matthew 12:33 Lit make
  30. Matthew 12:33 Lit make
  31. Matthew 12:34 Or brood
  32. Matthew 12:36 Or useless
  33. Matthew 12:36 Lit will speak
  34. Matthew 12:37 Or in accordance with
  35. Matthew 12:37 Or in accordance with
  36. Matthew 12:38 I.e., confirming miracle
  37. Matthew 12:39 I.e., confirming miracle
  38. Matthew 12:39 I.e., confirming miracle
  39. Matthew 12:39 I.e., confirming miracle
  40. Matthew 12:47 This verse is not found in early mss
  41. Matthew 12:48 Lit He