Matthew 12 – The Wisdom of Solomon – The Gospels

About the same time, Jesus walked through the corn-fields one Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and began to pick some ears of wheat and eat them. 2 But, when the Pharisees saw this, they said: “Look! your disciples are doing what it is not allowable to do on a Sabbath!” 3 “Have not you read,” replied Jesus, “what David did, when he and his companions were hungry. 4 How he went into the house of God, and how they ate the consecrated bread, though it was not allowable for him or his companions to eat, but only for the priests? 5 And have not you read in the law that, on the Sabbath, the priests in the temple break the Sabbath and yet are not guilty?

6 Here, however, I tell you, there is something greater than the temple! 7 And had you learned the meaning of the words: ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned those who are not guilty. 8 For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”

9 Passing on, Jesus went into their synagogue, 10 And there he saw a man with a withered hand. Some people asked Jesus whether it was allowable to work a cure on the Sabbath, so that they might have a charge to bring against him. 11 But Jesus said to them: “Which of you, if he had only one sheep, and that sheep fell into a pit on the Sabbath, would not lay hold of it and pull it out? 12 And how much more precious are we than a sheep! Therefore it is allowable to do good on the Sabbath.” 13 Then he said to the man. “Stretch out your hand.” The man stretched it out; and it had become as good as the other.

14 On coming out, the Pharisees plotted against Jesus, to put him to death. 15 Jesus, however, became aware of it, and went away from that place. A number of people followed him, and he cured them all; 16 But he warned them not to make him known, 17 In fulfillment of these words of the prophet Isaiah: 18 “Behold! the servant of my choice, my Beloved, in whom my heart delights! I will breathe my spirit upon him, And he shall announce a time of judgment to the Gentiles. 19 He shall not contend, nor cry aloud, neither shall anyone hear his voice in the streets; 20 A bruised reed he will not break, And a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he has brought the judgment to a victory, 21 And on his name shall the Gentiles rest their hopes.”

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22 Then some people brought to Jesus a possessed man, who was blind and dumb; and he cured him, so that the man who had been dumb could both talk and see. 23 At this all the people were astounded. “Is it possible that this is the Son of David?” they exclaimed. 24 But the Pharisees heard of it and said: “He drives out demons only by the help of Beelzebub the prince of the devils.”

25 Jesus, however, was aware of what was passing in their minds, and said to them: “Any kingdom divided against itself becomes a desolation, and any town or household divided against itself will not last. 26 So, if Satan drives Satan out, he must be divided against himself; and how, then, can his kingdom last? 27 And, if it is by Beelzebub’s help that I drive out devils, by whose help is it that your own sons drive them out? Therefore they shall themselves be your judges.”

28 “But, if it is by the help of the spirit of God that I drive out devils, then the kingdom of God must already be upon you.1 29 How, again, can anyone get into a strong man’s house and carry off his goods, without first securing him? And not until then will they begin plundering his house. 30 Those that are not with me are against me, and those who do not help me to gather are scattering.”

31 “Therefore, I tell you that all will be forgiven every sin and slander; but slander against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.2 32 Whoever speaks against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in the present age, or in the age to come. 33 You must assume either that both tree and fruit are good, or that both tree and fruit are worthless; since it is by its fruits that a tree is known.”

34 “You brood of vipers! How can you, evil as you are, say anything good? For what fills the heart will rise to the lips. 35 Good neighbors, from their good stores, produce good things; while evil neighbors, from their evil stores, produces evil things. 36 I tell you that every careless thing that is said must be answered for in the day of judgment. 37 For it is by your words that you will be acquitted, and by your words that you will be condemned.”

38 At this point, some teachers of the law and Pharisees interposed. “Teacher,” they said, “ we want to see some sign from you.” 39 “It is a wicked and unfaithful generation,” answered Jesus, “that asks for a sign, and no sign shall be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For, just as ‘Jonah was inside the sea-monster three days and three nights,’ so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”

41 “At the judgment, the men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation, and will condemn it, because they repented at Jonah’s proclamation; and here is more than a Jonah! 42 At the judgment the queen of the south will rise up with the present generation, and will condemn it, because she came from the very ends of the earth to listen to the wisdom of Solomon; and here is more than a Solomon!”

43 “No sooner does a foul spirit leave someone, than it passes through places where there is no water, in search of rest, and does not find it. 44 Then it says: ‘I will go back to the home which I left’; but, on coming there, it finds it unoccupied, and swept, and put in order. 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 state of that person proves to be worse than the first. So, too, will it be with this wicked generation.”

46 While he was still speaking to the crowds, his mother and brothers were standing outside, asking to speak to him. 47 Someone told him this, and Jesus replied: 48 “Who is my mother? and who are my brothers?” 49 Then, stretching out his hands towards his disciples, he said: “Here are my mother and my brothers! 50 For anyone who does the will of my Father who is in heaven is my brother and mother.”


To read Chapter 13 of the Gospel of Matthew, please go to: The Sower and Seed Parable. Browse the entire Gospel of Matthew here: Gospel of Matthew.

  1. Explore commentary on the Kingdom of God as found in the Gospel of Matthew in Chapter 3 of The Lord’s Prayer for Daily Life: Thy Kingdom Come. []
  2. Read about the slander against the Holy Spirit and its relationship to the Lord’s Prayer at: As We Forgive Those Who Trespass Against Us Meaning. []