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Chapter 12

1At that same time Jesus walked one Sabbath through the wheat fields, and his disciples became hungry and began to pick the heads of wheat and eat them. 2But the Pharisees saw it and said to him,

“Look! Your disciples are doing something which it is against the Law to do on the Sabbath!”

3But he said to them,

“Did you never read what David did, when he and his companions were hungry? 4How is it that he went into the House of God and that they ate the Presentation Loaves which it was against the Law for him and his companions to eat, or for anyone except the priests? 5Or did you never read in the Law how the priests in the Temple are not guilty when they break the Sabbath? 6But I tell you, there is something greater than the Temple here! 7But if you knew what the saying means, ‘It is mercy, not sacrifice, that I care for,’ you would not have condemned men who are not guilty. 8For the Son of Man is master of the Sabbath.”

9And he left the place and went into their synagogue. 10There was a man there with one hand withered. And in order to get a charge to bring against him, they asked him,

“Is it right to cure people on the Sabbath?”

11But he said to them,

“Who among you if he has even a single sheep and it falls into a hole on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out? 12And how much more a man is worth than a sheep! Therefore, it is right to do people good on the Sabbath.”

13Then he said to the man,

“Hold out your hand!”

And he held it out, and it was restored and became as well as the other. 14But the Pharisees left the synagogue and consulted about him, with a view to putting him to death.

15But Jesus knew of this, and he left that place. And numbers of people followed him about, and he cured them all, 16and warned them not to say anything about him 17—in fulfilment of what was said by the prophet Isaiah,

18“Here is my servant whom I have selected,

My beloved, who delights my heart!

I will endow him with my Spirit,

And he will announce a judgment to the heathen.

19He will not wrangle or make an outcry,

And no one will hear his voice in the streets;

20He will not break off a bent reed,

And he will not put out a smoldering wick,

Until he carries his judgment to success.

21The heathen will rest their hopes on his name!”

22At that time some people brought to him a man blind and dumb, who was possessed by a demon, and he cured him, so that the dumb man could speak and see. 23And all the crowds of people were astounded, and said,

“Can this be the Son of David?”

24But when the Pharisees heard of it they said,

“This man cannot drive out demons except by the aid of Beelzebub, the prince of the demons.”

25But he knew what they were thinking, and he said to them,

“Any kingdom that is disunited is on the way to destruction, and any city or household that is disunited cannot last. 26If Satan is driving Satan out, he is disunited, and so how can his kingdom last? 27And if I am driving the demons out by Beelzebub’s aid, by whose aid do your sons drive them out? Therefore let them be your judges. 28But if I am driving the demons out by the aid of God’s Spirit, then the Kingdom of God has overtaken you. 29How can anyone get into a strong man’s house and carry off his property unless he first binds the strong man? After that he can plunder his house. 30Anyone who is not with me is against me, and anyone who does not join me in gathering, scatters. 31Therefore, I tell you, men will be forgiven for any sin or abusive speech, but abusive speech about the Spirit cannot be forgiven. 32And whoever speaks against the Son of Man will be forgiven for it, but whoever speaks against the holy Spirit cannot be forgiven for it, either in this world or in the world to come.

33“You must either make the tree sound and its fruit sound, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; a tree is judged by its fruit. 34You brood of snakes! how can you, bad as you are, utter anything good? For the mouth says only what the heart is full of. 35A good man, out of the good he has accumulated, brings out things that are good, and a bad man, out of what he has accumulated that is bad, brings out things that are bad. 36But I tell you, for every careless word that men utter they will have to answer on the Day of Judgment. 37For it is by your words that you will be acquitted, or by your words that you will be condemned.”

38Then some of the scribes and Pharisees addressed him, saying,

“Master, we would like to have you show us some sign.”

39But he answered,

“Only a wicked and faithless age insists upon a sign, and no sign will be given it but the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40For just as Jonah was in the maw of the whale for three days and nights, the Son of Man will be three days and nights in the heart of the earth. 41Men of Nineveh will rise with this age at the judgment and condemn it, for when Jonah preached they repented, and there is more than Jonah here! 42The queen of the south will rise with this age at the judgment and condemn it, for she came from the very ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and there is more than Solomon here!

43“When a foul spirit goes out of a man, it roams through deserts in search of rest and can find none. 44Then it says, ‘I will go back to my house that I left,’ and it goes and finds it unoccupied, cleaned, and all in order. 45Then it goes and gets seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there, and in the end the man is worse off than he was before. That is the way it will be with this present wicked age.”

46While he was still speaking, his mother and his brothers came up and stood outside the crowd, wanting to speak to him. 48But he said to the man who told him,

“Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?”

49And he pointed to his disciples and said,

“Here are my mother and my brothers! 50For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother!”

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