Matthew 12:1-20

Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath Day

One Sabbath day Jesus walked through the grainfields. His disciples were hungry. So they began to break off some heads of grain and eat them. The Pharisees saw this. They said to Jesus, “Look! It is against the Law to do this on the Sabbath day. But your disciples are doing it anyway!”

Jesus answered, “Haven’t you read about what David did? He and his men were hungry. So he entered the house of God. He and his men ate the holy bread. Only priests were allowed to eat it. Haven’t you read the Law? It tells how every Sabbath day the priests in the temple have to do their work on that day. But they are not considered guilty. I tell you that something more important than the temple is here. Scripture says, ‘I want mercy and not sacrifice.’ (Hosea 6:6) You don’t know what those words mean. If you did, you would not bring charges against those who are not guilty. The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath day.”

Going on from that place, Jesus went into their synagogue. A man with a weak and twisted hand was there. The Pharisees were trying to accuse Jesus of a crime. So they asked him, “Does the Law allow us to heal on the Sabbath day?”

He said to them, “What if one of your sheep falls into a pit on the Sabbath day? Won’t you take hold of it and lift it out? A person is worth more than sheep! So the Law allows us to do good on the Sabbath day.”

Then Jesus said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out. It had been made as good as new. It was just as good as the other hand. But the Pharisees went out and planned how to kill Jesus.

God’s Chosen Servant

Jesus knew all about the Pharisees’ plans. So he left that place. A large crowd followed him, and he healed all who were sick. But he warned them not to tell other people about him. This was to make what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah come true. It says,

“Here is my servant. I have chosen him.

He is the one I love. I am very pleased with him.

I will put my Spirit on him.

He will announce to the nations that everything will be made right.

He will not argue or cry out.

No one will hear his voice in the streets.

He will not break a bent twig.

He will not put out a dimly burning flame.

He will make right win over wrong.

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