Matthew 12

1About that same time, Jesus was walking through the fields of grain on a Sabbath day. Jesus’ followers were with him, and they were hungry. So the followers began to pick the grain and eat it. 2The Pharisees saw this. They said to Jesus, “Look! Your followers are doing something that is against the ˻Jewish˼ law to do on the Sabbath day.” 3Jesus said to them, “You have read what David did when he and the people with him were hungry. 4David went into God’s house. David and the people with him ate the bread that was offered to God. It was against the law for David or the people with him to eat that bread. Only the priests were allowed to eat it. 5And you have read in the law ˻of Moses˼ that on every Sabbath day the priests at the temple break the law about the Sabbath day. But the priests are not wrong for doing that. 6I tell you that there is something here that is greater than the temple. 7The Scripture says, 'I don’t want animal sacrifices; I want you to show kindness to people.’ You don’t really know what those words mean. If you understood those words, then you would not judge those people that have done nothing wrong. 8”The Son of Man is Lord ˻(ruler)˼ over the Sabbath day.” 9Jesus left that place and went into their synagogue. 10In the synagogue there was a man with a crippled hand. Some Jews there were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus of doing wrong. So they asked Jesus, “Is it right to heal on the Sabbath day?” 11Jesus answered, “If any of you has a sheep, and the sheep falls into a ditch on the Sabbath day, then you will take the sheep and help it out of the ditch. 12Surely a man is more important than a sheep. So the law ˻of Moses˼ allows people to do good things on the Sabbath day.” 13Then Jesus said to the man with the crippled hand, “Let me see your hand.” The man put his hand out for Jesus, and the hand became well again, the same as the other hand. 14But the Pharisees left and made plans to kill Jesus. 15Jesus knew what the Pharisees were doing. So Jesus left that place. Many people followed Jesus, and he healed all the sick people. 16But Jesus warned the people not to tell other people who he was. 17Jesus did these things to make happen what Isaiah the prophet said. Isaiah said, 18”Here is my servant; I ˻(God)˼ have chosen him. I love him, and I am pleased with him; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will judge the nations fairly. 19He will not argue or shout; People will not hear his voice in the streets. 20He will not break the reed that is already bent; He will not stop the light that has almost stopped burning. He will continue until he makes fair judgment win the victory. 21All people will hope in him.” 22Then some people brought a man to Jesus. This man was blind and could not talk, because he had a demon inside him. Jesus healed the man, and the man could talk and see. 23All the people were amazed. The people said, “Maybe this man ˻(Jesus)˼ is the Son of David ˻that God promised to send to us˼!” 24The Pharisees heard the people saying this. The Pharisees said, “This man uses the power of Beelzebul ˻(the devil)˼ to force demons out of people. Beelzebul is the ruler of demons.” 25Jesus knew the things that the Pharisees were thinking. So Jesus said to them, “Every kingdom that is fighting against itself will be destroyed. And every city that is divided cannot continue. And every family that is divided cannot succeed. 26So if Satan ˻(the devil)˼ forces out his own demons, then Satan is divided. And his kingdom will not be able to continue. 27You say that I use the power of Beelzebul to force out demons. If that is true, then what power do your people use when they force out demons? So your own people will prove that you are wrong. 28But I use the power of God’s Spirit to force out demons. This shows that the kingdom of God has come to you. 29”If a person wants to enter a strong man’s house and steal his things, first the person must tie the strong man. Then the person can steal the things from the strong man’s house. 30”If a person is not with me, then he is against me. The person that does not work with me is working against me. 31So I tell you, people can be forgiven of every sin they do. And people can be forgiven for every bad thing they say. But if a person speaks against ˻(refuses to accept)˼ the Holy Spirit, then that person will not be forgiven. 32Any person that says things against the Son of Man can be forgiven. But any person that says things against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. That person will not be forgiven now or in the future. 33”If you want good fruit, you must make the tree good. If your tree is not good then it will have bad fruit. A tree is known by the kind of fruit it makes. 34You snakes! You are evil people! How can you say anything good? The mouth speaks the things that are in the heart. 35A good person has good things saved in his heart. And so he speaks the good things that come from his heart. But an evil person has evil saved in his heart. So he speaks the evil things that come from his heart. 36And I tell you that people will have to explain about every careless thing they have said. This will happen on the day of judgment. 37The words you have said will be used to judge you. Some of your words will make you right, but some of your words will make you guilty.” 38Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law answered Jesus. They said, “Teacher, we want to see you do a miracle as a sign ˻(proof)˼.” 39Jesus answered, “Evil and sinful people are the ones that want to see a miracle for a sign ˻(proof)˼. But no miracle will be given as a sign to those people. The only sign will be the miracle that happened to the prophet Jonah. 40Jonah was in the stomach of the big fish for three days and three nights. In the same way, the Son of Man will be in the grave three days and three nights. 41On the judgment day, you people that live now will be compared with the people from Nineveh, and they will be witnesses to show that you are wrong ˻(guilty)˼. Why? Because when Jonah preached to those people, they changed their hearts and lives. And you are listening to someone greater than Jonah, ˻but you refuse to change˼! 42On the judgment day, you people that live now will also be compared with the Queen of the South, and she will be a witness to show that you are wrong ˻(guilty)˼. Why? Because she traveled from far, far away to listen to Solomon’s wise teaching. And I tell you that someone greater than Solomon is right here, ˻but you won’t listen to me˼! 43”When an evil spirit ˻from the devil˼ comes out of a person, that spirit travels through dry places looking for a place to rest. But that spirit finds no place to rest. 44So the spirit says, 'I will go back to the home ˻(person)˼ I left.’ When the spirit comes back to that person, the spirit finds that home ˻(person)˼ still empty. That home is swept clean and made neat. 45Then the evil spirit goes out and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself. Then all the spirits go into that person and live there. And that person has even more trouble than he had before. It is the same way with the evil people that live today.” 46While Jesus was talking to the people his mother and brothers stood outside. They wanted to talk to Jesus. 47A person told Jesus, “Your mother and brothers are waiting for you outside. They want to talk to you.” 48Jesus answered, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” 49Then Jesus pointed to his followers and said, “See! These people are my mother and my brothers. 50My true brother and sister and mother is any person that does the things my Father in heaven wants.”

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