1 About that time Jesus was walking through a grainfield on the Sabbath day. His disciples were hungry so began picking off some heads of grain to eat [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 when the Pharisees saw this, they said to Him, "Look, your disciples are doing what is against the law of Moses to do on a Sabbath day."
3 Jesus replied, "Have you not read what King David did when he and his men were hungry? [I Sam. 21:6] 4 He entered the house of God [i.e., the Temple] and ate the 'Bread of Presence', which was not permissible, according to the law of Moses, for him or those with him to do, since it was reserved only for the priests. 5 Or, have you not read in the law of Moses that the priests in the Temple defiled the Sabbath day [i.e., by doing the 'work' of offering sacrifices] and were not held guilty [of wrongdoing]? [See Num. 28:9-10] 6 But I tell you, someone greater than the Temple is here [with you]. 7 If you had [fully] understood what this means: 'I desire mercy and not [only] sacrifice,' you would not have condemned someone who was not guilty [of wrongdoing]. 8 For the Son of man is lord [i.e., has authority] over the Sabbath day."
9 Jesus left there and went into their [i.e., the Pharisees'] synagogues, 10 and there He saw a man with a deformed hand. They asked Him, "Is it permissible by the law of Moses to heal someone on a Sabbath day?"
11 He answered them, "Which one of you who has [only] one sheep, and it fell in a ditch, would not reach down and lift it out [even] if it were on a Sabbath day? 12 Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep? Therefore, it is permissible by the law of Moses to do what is good on a Sabbath day."
13 Then Jesus said to the man "Reach out your hand." And when he stretched it out, it became normal, just like the other one. 14 But the Pharisees left and began discussing together how they could arrange to kill Him.
15 When Jesus perceived what they were doing He withdrew from that place. Many people followed Him and He healed all of them. 16 Then He urged them not to reveal His [true] identity, 17 so what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah would be fulfilled when he said,
18 [Isa. 13:1ff] "Look, see my [i.e., God's] servant whom I have chosen; my dear One [i.e., Jesus] with whom my soul is very pleased: I will put my Holy Spirit on Him, and He will proclaim judgment to the [unconverted] Gentiles. 19 He will not be contentious nor shout out [loudly]. Neither will anyone hear His voice [raised] in the streets. 20 He will not [even] break a wilted stalk or put out a smoldering [lamp] wick until He exercises judgment [upon mankind through the Gospel] in order to bring about victory [i.e., in people's lives]. 21 So, in His name the [unconverted] Gentiles will have hope."
22 Then a person dominated by an evil spirit, who was [also] blind and mute, was brought to Jesus. He healed the man so that he was able [both] to speak and see [again]. 23 All the crowds of people were amazed and said, "Can this [Jesus] be the son of David?"
24 But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, "This man does not drive out evil spirits except by [the power of] Beelzebub, the chief of evil spirits."
25 Knowing their thoughts Jesus said to them, "Every kingdom [plagued] with internal division will end in ruin. And every city or household divided from within will not survive. 26 If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself, [so] how then can his kingdom stand? 27 And if I drive out evil spirits by [the power of] Beelzebub, by whom do they [i.e., your people] drive them out? So, they become your judges. 28 But if I drive out evil spirits by [the power of] the Holy Spirit, then [that is evidence that] the kingdom of God has come into your midst [i.e., by my presence and ministry]. 29 Or, how can someone enter a strong man's house and steal his belongings unless he first ties up the strong man? Only then will he be able to steal [his belongings] from his house. 30 The person who is not on my side is [actually] against me. And the person who does not gather [people to me] is [actually] driving them away [from me]. 31 Therefore I tell you, people will be forgiven of every sin and abusive word spoken [against God]. But abusive words spoken against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 And whoever speaks an [abusive] word against the Son of man will be forgiven [of it], but whoever speaks [an abusive word] against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven [of it], not in this world nor the one to come.
33 Either be a healthy tree and produce wholesome fruit, or be a diseased tree and produce rotten fruit, for [the quality of] a tree will be recognized by [the quality of] its fruit. 34 You children of snakes! Since you are evil, how do you expect to speak good things? For the mouth speaks what the heart is filled with. 35 The good person produces good things from his storehouse of goodness. But the evil person produces bad things from his storehouse of evil. 36 And I say to you, a person will [have to] give an account [to God] on the day of judgment for every careless word he had spoken [while on earth]. 37 For you will be considered righteous by the words [you speak] and you will be condemned by the words [you speak]."
38 Then certain experts in the law of Moses and some Pharisees answered Jesus, saying, "Teacher, we would like to see you perform a [supernatural] sign."
39 But He said to them, "It is [only] an evil and unfaithful [i.e., to God] generation of people that looks for a [supernatural] sign. And there will not be any sign given to it except the [supernatural] sign [demonstrated in the life] of Jonah, the prophet. 40 For just like Jonah was in the stomach of the huge fish for three days and nights, so the Son of man will be in the heart of the earth [i.e., the cave-tomb] for three days and nights. 41 The people of Nineveh will stand up on the judgment day along with the people of this generation and will condemn them because they repented [i.e., changed their hearts and lives] when hearing the preaching of Jonah [See Jonah 3:5-10], and [now] Someone greater than Jonah is here [i.e., Jesus]. 42 The queen of the South [Note: This queen was from Sheba, I Kings 10:1, which was probably in Arabia] will stand up on the judgment day along with the people of this generation and will condemn them because she came from a great distance to hear [and see] Solomon's wisdom [I Kings 10:1ff] and [now] Someone greater than Solomon is here [i.e., Jesus].
43 But when an evil spirit has been driven out of a person, it roams through desert regions trying to find rest but cannot find it. 44 Then it says [to itself], I will return to my house which I came out of [i.e., the body of the person it dominated]. But when it returns [to that body] it finds it empty, cleaned out and [newly] decorated. 45 Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits, more evil than itself, and they reenter [the body] and [begin to] live there, so that the latter state of that person becomes worse than the former [state]. It will be the same way with the people of this evil generation."
46 While Jesus was still speaking to the large crowds, His mother and [half-] brothers were standing outside [of the large house. See 13:1] wanting to speak to Him. 47 Someone [from the crowd] said to Him, "Look, your mother and your brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you."
48 He answered the person who told Him, "[Just] who is my mother? And who are my brothers?" 49 Then He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, "Look, [here is] my mother and my brothers!" 50 "For whoever will do what my Father in heaven desires, is my brother and sister and mother."