Gospel of Matthew Chapter Twelve

12:1 During this time Jesus was traveling on the Sabbath through a corn field and his disciples were hungry and began to pick some ears of corn and eat.
12:2 But when the pharisees saw this, they said to him, “Look, your disciples do what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.”
12:3 Then he replied to them, “Have you not read what David did, when he and his followers were hungry –
12:4 How they entered the house of God and he and his followers ate the consecrated bread that was not lawful for them to eat – and was reserved for the priests?
12:5 Or have you not read in the Scripture how on Sabbath days the priests in the temple may abandon the Sabbath yet remain blameless?
12:6 But I say to you, that here in this place is the Mighty One – who is greater than the temple.
12:7 But if you had known what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’1 you would not have condemned the blameless.
12:8 Because the Servant of Humanity is master of the Sabbath.”
12:9 Then he left that place and went into their synagogue.
12:10 And there was a man who had a diseased hand. They tried to bring charges against him – so they asked, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”
12:11 Jesus answered them, “Who among you shall have one sheep and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not grab hold of him and pull him out?
12:12 How much greater is a man than a sheep? Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”
12:13 Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out and it was healed, looking like the other hand.
12:14 Then the pharisees left and held a meeting to plot how they might destroy him.
12:15 But when Jesus discovered this, he withdrew from there and great crowds followed him – and he healed them all:
12:16 And instructed them that they should not reveal who he was.
12:17 This executed the words spoken through Isaiah the Prophet:
12:18 “Behold My servant, whom I have chosen – My beloved – in whom I am well pleased; I will put My spirit upon him and he shall show justice to the pagans.
12:19 He will not struggle, nor weep, and no one will hear his voice in the streets.
12:20 A bruised reed will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not extinguish until he leads justice to victory.
12:21 And on his account shall the pagans put their hope.”2
12:22 Then someone was brought to him who was possessed by a demon, and was blind and mute, and he healed him – allowing the blind and mute man to speak and see.
12:23 And all the people were amazed, saying, “Is this not the follower of David?”
12:24 But when the pharisees heard this, they said, “He only casts out demons by beelzebub, the prince of the demons.”
12:25 And Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said to them, “Any authority divided against itself is brought to destruction; and every village or house divided against itself will not stand.
12:26 And if the wicked casts out the wicked he is divided against himself; how then will he maintain authority?
12:27 And if I cast out demons by beelzebub, by whom do your followers cast them out? Therefore, they shall be your judges.
12:28 But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, the sanctuary of God is being provided to you.
12:29 Otherwise, how can someone enter a strong man’s house and steal his stuff unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can ransack his house.
12:30 One who is not with me is against me, and those who don’t join me will disperse.
12:31 Therefore I say to you, people shall be forgiven of all types of sin and blasphemy, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven.
12:32 And whoever speaks words against the Servant of Humanity shall be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven, neither in this lifetime or the next lifetime.
12:33 Either make the tree good and its fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt and its fruit corrupt: For the tree is known by its fruit.
12:34 O generation of vipers – how can you, being wicked, speak good things? For the mouth speaks from what fills the heart.
12:35 A good man brings forth good things from the good treasures of the heart, and a wicked man brings forth wicked things from the wicked treasures.
12:36 But I say to you that every careless word that a person speaks will be accounted for at the time of judgment.
12:37 For by your words shall you be justified; and by your words shall you be condemned.
12:38 Then some of the scribes and the pharisees replied, saying, “Master, can we see a sign from you?”
12:39 Yet he replied and said to them, “A wicked and adulterous society seeks a sign: But no sign will be given to it except for the sign of the Prophet Jonah.
12:40 For just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale for three days and three nights, so shall the Servant of Humanity be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.
12:41 The men of Nineveh would rise in judgment of this society and would condemn it; because they had a change of heart after the preaching of Jonah – and there beheld the presence of the One who is greater than Jonah.3
12:42 The queen of the south would rise up in judgment of this society, and would condemn it, for she came from the outermost regions of the land to hear the wisdom of Solomon – and there beheld the presence of the One who is greater than Solomon.3
12:43 When an unclean spirit has left a body, he walks through barren places seeking rest, and finds none.
12:44 Then he says, ‘I will return to the house that I left.’ But when he returns, he finds it empty, swept and organized.
12:45 Then he will go and take with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they will enter in and reside there – and the body’s condition will be worse than it was initially. This is the situation for this wicked society.”
12:46 As he spoke to the people, his mother and brothers were standing outside wanting to speak with him.
12:47 Someone told him, “Look, your mother and brothers are standing outside wanting to speak with you.”
12:48 But he said to the one who told him: “Who is my mother? And who are my brothers?”
12:49 Then he pointed his hand towards his disciples and said, “Here is my mother and my brothers!
12:50 For whoever does what pleases my LORD in the spiritual realm is my brother, sister and mother.”


1. Verse 12:7.
[God speaking through Hosea] “For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.” (Hosea 6:6 NIV)

2. Verse 12:21.
[God speaking through Isaiah]:
"Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will bring justice to the nations.
He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets.
A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his teaching the islands will put their hope."
This is what God the LORD says— the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out, who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it (Isaiah 42:1-5 NIV)

3. Verses 12:41 and 12:42. Referring to the Supreme Being, Jesus is indicating that his teachings, aimed at changing the heart, are aligned with Jonah and Solomon.