1 At that particular time Jesus went through the fields of standing grain on the Sabbath; and His disciples were hungry, and they began to pick off the spikes of grain and to eat. 2 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, See there! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful and not permitted on the Sabbath. 3 He said to them, Have you not even read what David did when he was hungry, and those who accompanied him -- " 4 How he went into the house of God and ate the loaves of the showbread -- "which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for the men who accompanied him, but for the priests only? 5 Or have you never read in the Law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple violate the sanctity of the Sabbath [breaking it] and yet are guiltless? 6 But I tell you, Something greater and more exalted and more majestic than the temple is here! 7 And if you had only known what this saying means, I desire mercy [readiness to help, to spare, to forgive] rather than sacrifice and sacrificial victims, you would not have condemned the guiltless.
Lord of the Sabbath
9 And going on from there, He went into their synagogue. 10 And behold, a man was there with one withered hand. And they said to Him, Is it lawful or allowable to cure people on the Sabbath days? -- "that they might accuse Him. 11 But He said to them, What man is there among you, if he has only one sheep and it falls into a pit or ditch on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out? 12 How much better and of more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful and allowable to do good on the Sabbath days. 13 Then He said to the man, Reach out your hand. And the man reached it out and it was restored, as sound as the other one. 14 But the Pharisees went out and held a consultation against Him, how they might do away with Him.
15 But being aware of this, Jesus went away from there. And many people joined and accompanied Him, and He cured all of them, 16 And strictly charged them and sharply warned them not to make Him publicly known. 17 This was in fulfillment of what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah,
18 Behold, My Servant Whom I have chosen, My Beloved in and with Whom My soul is well pleased and has found its delight. I will put My Spirit upon Him, and He shall proclaim and show forth justice to the nations. 19 He will not strive or wrangle or cry out loudly; nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets; 20 A bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering (dimly burning) wick He will not quench, till He brings justice and a just cause to victory. 21 And in and on His name will the Gentiles (the peoples outside of Israel) set their hopes.
The Pharisees Rebuked
22 Then a blind and dumb man under the power of a demon was brought to Jesus, and He cured him, so that the blind and dumb man both spoke and saw. 23 And all the [crowds of] people were stunned with bewildered wonder and said, This cannot be the Son of David, can it? 24 But the Pharisees, hearing it, said, This Man drives out demons only by and with the help of Beelzebub, the prince of demons.
25 And knowing their thoughts, He said to them, Any kingdom that is divided against itself is being brought to desolation and laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will last or continue to stand. 26 And if Satan drives out Satan, he has become divided against himself and disunified; how then will his kingdom last or continue to stand? 27 And if I drive out the demons by [help of] Beelzebub, by whose [help] do your sons drive them out? For this reason they shall be your judges. 28 But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out the demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you [ before you expected it]. 29 Or how can a person go into a strong man's house and carry off his goods (the entire equipment of his house) without first binding the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house.
The Unpardonable Sin
30 He who is not with Me [definitely on My side] is against Me, and he who does not [definitely] gather with Me and for My side scatters.
31 Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy (every evil, abusive, injurious speaking, or indignity against sacred things) can be forgiven men, but blasphemy against the [Holy] Spirit shall not and cannot be forgiven. 32 And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Spirit, the Holy One, will not be forgiven, either in this world and age or in the world and age to come.
Words Reveal Character
33 Either make the tree sound (healthy and good), and its fruit sound (healthy and good), or make the tree rotten (diseased and bad), and its fruit rotten (diseased and bad); for the tree is known and recognized and judged by its fruit. 34 You offspring of vipers! How can you speak good things when you are evil (wicked)? For out of the fullness (the overflow, the superabundance) of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 The good man from his inner good treasure flings forth good things, and the evil man out of his inner evil storehouse flings forth evil things. 36 But I tell you, on the day of judgment men will have to give account for every idle (inoperative, nonworking) word they speak. 37 For by your words you will be justified and acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned and sentenced.
The Desire for Signs
38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Him, Teacher, we desire to see a sign or miracle from You [proving that You are what You claim to be]. 39 But He replied to them, An evil and adulterous generation (a generation morally unfaithful to God) seeks and demands a sign; but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For even as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, Someone more and greater than Jonah is here! 42 The queen of the South will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, Someone more and greater than Solomon is here.
43 But when the unclean spirit has gone out of a man, it roams through dry [arid] places in search of rest, but it does not find any. 44 Then it says, I will go back to my house from which I came out. And when it arrives, it finds the place unoccupied, swept, put in order, and decorated. 45 Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and make their home there. And the last condition of that man becomes worse than the first. So also shall it be with this wicked generation.
46 Jesus was still speaking to the people when behold, His mother and brothers stood outside, seeking to speak to Him. 47 Someone said to Him, Listen! Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, seeking to speak to You. 48 But He replied to the man who told Him, Who is My mother, and who are My brothers? 49 And stretching out His hand toward [not only the twelve disciples but all] His adherents, He said, Here are My mother and My brothers. 50 For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother!