When Jesus was walking at that lime through the cornfields on the Sabbath, His disciples, being hungry, began to pluck the ears of corn and eat them. The Pharisees seeing it, however, said to Him, "Look! Your disciples are doing what the law for bids to be done on the Sabbath."
But in reply He said to them, "Do you not know what David did when he and those with him were hungry; how he entered the house of God, and ate the shew-bread, which it was not permissible for him, nor yet for his attendants, to eat, but the priests alone? Or have you not read in the law, that on the Sabbath the sacrificing priests may break the Sabbath, and be blameless? But here, I tell you, there is something more important than the temple. If, however, you had been acquainted with the text, I desire mercy rather than sacrifice,1 you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath."
Then taking His departure, He entered their synagogue; and a man with a paralyzed hand happening to be there, they asked of Him if it was allowable to effect a cure on the Sabbath? so that they might incriminate Him. But, in reply, He said to them, "Who is there among you, that has a single sheep, and if it should fall into a ditch on the Sabbath, would not get hold of it, and lift it out? By how much does a man differ from a sheep! Therefore it is allowable to do a kindness on the Sabbath."
He then said to the man, "Stretch out your hand!" He accordingly extended it, and it was restored to soundness like the other one.
The Plotting of the Pharisees
The Pharisees consequently consulted together against Him, so as to find out a means of murdering Him; but Jesus knowing it, removed from there. And great crowds following Him, He cured them all, and enjoined them not to make Him known; so that the prediction delivered through Isaiah the prophet might be verified;
Observe my son, whom i have chosen;
My beloved, in whom my soul delights!
I will put my spirit into him,
And he shall proclaim justice to the heathen.
He will neither wrangle nor contend;
Nor shall any hear his shouting in the streets.
He will not crush a bruised reed,
Nor extinguish a flickering light,
Until he leads justice to victory.
And in his name shall the nations hope.2
A Blind and Dumb Man Cured
Then Jesus, Who read their thoughts, answered them: "Any kingdom divided against itself is desolated; and no city or house divided against itself can hold together: so if Satan expels Satan, he is divided against himself; how, therefore, can his kingdom hold together? And if I cast out demons through the help of Beelzebul, by whose help do your own followers cast them out? by that they should be your judges! But if I, by a Divine energy, cast out the demons, then the Kingdom of God has burst out above you! How, indeed, can any one enter the house of that strong man, and destroy his armaments, unless he can first overpower his strength? Then he may plunder his dwelling.
"Whoever is not on My side, is against Me; and whoever does not gather with Me, scatters. Because of this, I tell you, Every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven to men; but the blasphemy of the Spirit will never be forgiven to men. And if one gives expression to a thought against the Son of Man, he may be forgiven; but if one shall speak insultingly of the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither at the present time, nor in the future. Assume the tree to be good, when its fruit is good; or assume that the tree is worthless, when its fruit is worthless: for the tree is known by its fruit. You venomous breed! how can you preach purity, when you are yourselves depraved? For the mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart! The beneficent man draws from his treasury of purity, goodness; and the depraved man can only produce depravity, from his stores of depravity! I tell you, however, that every vile idea that men give expression to, they shall render a reason for it in the Day of Judgment. For by your thoughts you will be acquitted, and by your thoughts you will be convicted."
The Pharisees want a Proof
"Does a depraved and debauched race ask for a Divine sign? None, however, will be given it other than the sign of the prophet Jonah; for as Jonah was for three days and three nights in the hold of the Whale, thus shall the Son of Man be for three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh shall rise up in the Judgment against this generation, and convict it; for they reformed under the preaching of Jonah: and now a mightier than Jonah is here! The Queen of the South shall rise up in the Judgment against this generation, and convict it; because she came from the most distant parts of the earth to learn the wisdom of Solomon: and yet a greater than Solomon is here! When, however, the foul spirit has gone out from a man, it wanders about in waterless places, seeking rest, and finding none. Then it reflects, 'I will return to my house from which I came'; and returning, he finds it quite ready for him, cleaned and decorated. He accordingly goes, and takes along with him seven other spirits more depraved than himself; and entering, they live there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. It will be the same with this debased race."
While He was still speaking to the crowd, His mother and His brothers stood outside, desiring to speak with Him. And some one said to Him, "See, Your mother and brothers are outside, wishing to speak to You."
Addressing the one who told Him, however, He asked, "Who is My mother? and who are My brothers? " Then extending His hand in the direction of His disciples, He said, "Why, those are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father Who is in heaven, he is My brother, and sister, and mother!"
Transcribed by Mark Hicks on 12-31-2014