1 Now it happened on a Sabbath day that Jesus was walking through some grainfields. His disciples picked off some heads of grain, rubbed them in their hands and ate [the kernels]. [Note: It was an accepted practice for people in that day to be permitted to do this as they walked along paths bordering a grainfield]. 2 But certain Pharisees said, "Why are you doing what is against the law of Moses on the Sabbath day?"
3 And Jesus answered them, "Have you never read about what King David did when he and his men were hungry [I Sam. 21:6]; 4 how he entered the house of God [i.e., the Temple] and took some 'Bread of Presence' and ate it, and also gave some to his men to eat? [This practice] was not permissible according to the law of Moses, [since the bread was reserved] only for the priests." 5 Then He said to them, "The Son of man is lord [i.e., has authority over] the Sabbath day."
6 And it happened on another Sabbath day, when Jesus entered the synagogue to teach, that a man was there whose right hand was deformed. 7 And the experts in the law of Moses were watching Him to see if He would heal [someone] on the Sabbath day, so they could figure out how to accuse Him. 8 But He knew what they were thinking. Then He said to the man with the deformed hand, "Get up, step forward in front of everyone." So, he got up and stepped forward. 9 Then Jesus said to them, "I ask you, is it permitted by the law of Moses to do something good or to do something harmful on the Sabbath day? To save a life or to destroy it?" 10 Then He looked around at all of them [there] and said to the man, "Reach out your hand." And [when] he did this, his hand was restored [to normal use]. 11 But the experts in the law of Moses and the Pharisees became furious and began discussing among themselves what they could do to Jesus.
12 And it happened during that time that Jesus went out to the mountain [i.e., probably a hillside near Capernaum] to pray, and continued praying to God all night. 13 And when it was daylight, He called His disciples and chose from among them twelve, whom He also called apostles.
14 [They were] Simon, also called Peter, and his brother Andrew, James and John [also brothers], Philip, Bartholomew [i.e., the same as Nathaniel. See John 1:45], 15 Matthew [i.e., the same as Levi. See Mark 2:14], Thomas [i.e., the same as Didymus. See John 11:16], James, the son of Alphaeus, Simon, called the Zealot [i.e., the same as the Cananean. See Matt. 10:4], 16 Judas, the son of James [i.e., the same as Thaddaeus. See Matt. 10:3] and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor [to Jesus].
17 Then He came down [from the mountain] with them and stood on a level place [where] a large crowd of His disciples and a large group of people had gathered to hear Him and be healed from their diseases. 18 And [also] those who were tormented by evil spirits were healed. 19 Then the whole crowd tried to touch Him because [supernatural] power was coming from His body, and He healed all of them.
20 Then He looked at His disciples and said, "Those of you who have a [sense of personal] need are blessed, because the kingdom of God belongs to you. 21 Those of you who now have an appetite [i.e., for doing what is right] are blessed, because you will be satisfied [eventually]. Those of you who cry now [i.e., over your sins] are blessed, because you will laugh [i.e., when you are forgiven later]. 22 You are blessed when men hate you and withdraw their fellowship from you and speak abusively about you and reject your name as evil, [all] for being loyal to the Son of man.
23 Be happy at that time and jump for joy and realize that your reward in heaven will be great, for the forefathers [i.e., of your corrupt Jewish leaders] treated the prophets the same way.
24 But it is too bad for you rich people because you have [already] received [all] the comforts [you are going to get]. 25 It is too bad for you people who have plenty to eat now, because you will be hungry [later on]. It is too bad for you people who are laughing now, because you will grieve and cry [later on]. 26 It is too bad for you people when everyone speaks well about you, because the forefathers said the same thing about the false prophets.
27 But I tell you people who are listening [to me], love your enemies and do good things to those who hate you. 28 [Ask God's] blessing on those who curse you; pray for those who treat you spitefully. 29 Whoever hits you on one side of the face, allow him [to hit you on] the other side also; and when someone takes away your coat, do not stop him from also taking away your shirt [i.e., if he insists on it]. 30 Give to everyone who asks you [for something] and do not demand that he bring back your possessions that he takes away. 31 And whatever you would like people to do to you, do the same thing to them. 32 And if you love [only] those who love you, what thanks do you deserve for doing that? For even worldly people love those who love them. 33 And if you do good things [only] to those who do good things to you, what thanks do you deserve for doing that? For even worldly people do that much. 34 And if you lend something [only] to those people from whom you expect to have it returned, what thanks do you deserve for doing that? Even worldly people lend to worldly people expecting to get the same things back. 35 But love your enemies and do good things to them; and lend to them without expecting it to be returned, and your reward [i.e., from God] will be great and you will be [considered] sons of the Highest [i.e., God]. For He is kind to unthankful and evil people [as well]. 36 You people should be merciful just like your Father is merciful.
37 And do not pass [hypocritical] judgment [on other people. See Matt. 7:1-5] and you will not receive such judgment [on yourselves]. And do not condemn [others] and you will not be condemned [yourselves]. Release people [i.e., from guilt for offending you] and you will be released [i.e., by God?] 38 Give [to others] and you will have [things] given to you. People will pour into your lap a full measure [of goods]; it will be pressed down, shaken together and running over [the edges]. Because the standard you use in giving [to others] will be the standard used [by them or God] in giving back to you."
39 Then Jesus told them a parable [i.e., a brief story to illustrate His teaching]: "Can a blind person lead a blind person? Will not both of them fall into a ditch? 40 The disciple is not more important than his teacher, but when every person becomes complete, [then] he will be like his teacher.
41 And why do you look for the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye but ignore the board in your own eye? 42 Or how can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take that speck of sawdust out of your eye,' when you cannot see the board in your own eye? You hypocrite, take the board out of your own eye first; then you will be able to see clearly enough to take out the speck of sawdust that is in your brother's eye.
43 For there is no healthy tree that produces bad fruit; nor is there a diseased tree that produces wholesome fruit. 44 For each tree is recognized by its own fruit. For people do not harvest figs from thorn bushes, nor grapes from a brier bush. 45 The good person produces good things from the goodness stored up in his heart. And the evil person produces bad things from the evil [stored up in his heart]. For his mouth speaks what his heart is filled with.
46 And why do you call me 'Lord, Lord,' and [yet] not obey what I tell you to do? 47 Every person who comes to me and listens to my words and obeys them, I will show you who he is like. 48 He is like a man building a house, who dug deep to lay the foundation on rock. And when a flood came the river pounded against that house, but could not shake it because it had been well built. 49 But the person who hears [my words] and does not obey them is like a man who built a house on the ground, without a foundation. [When] the river pounded against it, immediately it collapsed and the destruction of that house was complete."