Chapter 12

At that time, Jesus walked through the wheat fields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, so they began to pick the stalks of grain and eat. 2The Pharisees saw this and said, “Look, your disciples are doing what they’re not supposed to do on the Sabbath.” 3But Jesus said to them, “Haven’t y’all read what David and his companions did when they were hungry? 4He went into God’s house and ate the Holy Bread that nobody, not even David and his companions, are supposed to eat except the priests. 5Or haven’t y’all read in the Law that the priests break the Sabbath in the temple, but are innocent? 6I tell y’all, something greater than the temple is here! 7If you all knew what was meant by, ‘I want mercy, not sacrifice,’ then y’all wouldn’t condemn the innocent. 8The Son of Man is the master of the Sabbath.

9When he left there, he went into their synagogue, 10and there was a man there with a shriveled up hand. The people asked him, “Is it legal to heal on the Sabbath?” because they were trying to accuse him. 11Jesus said, “What would any of you do if you only had one sheep and it fell into a hole on the Sabbath? Wouldn’t you grab it and lift it out? 12How much better is a man than a sheep! So, it’s legal to do good on the Sabbath.” 13Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand,” and the man stretched it out and it was restored healthy just like the other. 14But the Pharisees conspired against him to try to kill him.

15But Jesus knew about this, so he left. Huge crowds followed him and he healed all of them. 16He warned them not to tell anyone who he was, 17so that the word spoken through the Prophet Isaiah would be fulfilled, 18"Look, this is my servant I have chosen. My beloved. The one my soul is very happy with. I’ll set my spirit on him, and he’ll preach justice to the Gentiles. 19He won’t fight, he won’t shout, and nobody will hear his voice in the streets. 20He won’t break a bent reed, and he won’t put out a smoking wick until he brings victory to justice! 21The Gentiles will hope in his name!”

22Then a man possessed with demons, blind, and deaf was brought to him, and Jesus healed him so that the deaf man could speak and see. 23The crowds were all amazed and they said, “Is this the son of David?” 24But the Pharisees heard this and said, “This guy doesn’t throw out demons except by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.” 25Knowing what they were thinking, Jesus said, “Any nation divided against itself is ruined, and any city or house divided against itself won’t stand. 26If Satan throws out Satan, he’s divided against himself. So how will his empire stand? 27If I throw out demons by Beelzebul, who do your sons throw them out by? So, they’ll be your judges. 28But if I throw out demons by God’s spirit, then God’s Empire has come to y’all! 29Or, how is anyone able to steal a strong man’s property without first tying him up? Then he can rob the whole house. 30Whoever isn’t with me is against me! And whoever doesn’t gather with me scatters. 31So, I tell y’all, everyone will be forgiven for every sin and blasphemy, but blasphemy against the spirit won’t be forgiven. 32Whoever says a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever might say a word against the Holy Spirit won’t be forgiven. Not in this age, or the one to come.

33“Make the tree good, and its fruit is good. Make the tree rotten, and its fruit is rotten. Because the tree is known by its fruit. 34You bunch of snakes! How can y’all say good things when y’all are evil? The mouth talks about what the heart is filled up with. 35The good man brings up good things from his good treasure. The evil man brings up evil things from his evil treasure. 36But I tell y’all, every careless word people speak they will have to defend on Judgement Day. 37By your words, you’ll be justified. And by your words, you’ll be damned.

38Then some of the scholars and Pharisees said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.” 39Jesus answered, “An evil and adulterous generation looks for a sign, and no sign’ll be given except the Prophet Jonah’s sign. 40Just as Jonah was in the whale’s stomach for three days and three nights, the Son of Man will be in the earth’s heart for three days and three nights. 41The Ninevite men will stand up at the judgement with this generation and damn it, because they changed their ways when Jonah preached, and look, something greater than Jonah is here! 42The Queen of the south will be raised at the judgement with this generation and damn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear Solomon’s wisdom, and look, something greater than Solomon is here!

43“When an evil spirit leaves a man, he goes through deserts looking for a place to rest, and doesn’t find one. 44So he says, ‘I’ll go back to my house that I left.’ And he comes back and finds it empty, cleaned up, and decorated. 45Then he goes out and finds seven other demons, more evil than him, goes in and stays there. So that man ends up worse off than he started. It’ll be just like that with this evil generation.

46As he said these things to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside wanting to speak to him. 47Some said to him, “Look, your mother and brothers are outside, and they want to talk to you.” 48But Jesus said to them, “Who’s my mother? Who are my brothers?” 49And he pointed to his disciples and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does my Heavenly Father’s will is my brother, sister, and mother.

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