Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath
1One Sabbath while Jesus was passing through fields of standing grain, it happened that His disciples were picking the heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands, and eating them. 2But some of the Pharisees said, “Why are you doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?” 3Jesus replied to them, “Have you not even read [in the Scriptures] what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him— 4how he went into the house of God, and took and ate the consecrated bread, which is not lawful [for anyone] to eat except the priests alone, and [how he also] gave it to the men who were with him?” 5Jesus was saying to them, “The Son of Man (the Messiah) is Lord [even] of the Sabbath.”
6On another Sabbath He went into the synagogue and taught, and a man was present whose right hand was withered. 7The scribes and the Pharisees were watching Him closely [with malicious intent], to see if He would [actually] heal [someone] on the Sabbath, so that they might find a reason to accuse Him. 8But He was aware of their thoughts, and He said to the man with the withered hand, “Get up and come forward.” So he got up and stood there. 9Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you directly: Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath or to do evil, to save a life or to destroy it?” 10After looking around at them all, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand!” And he did, and his hand was [fully] restored. 11But the scribes and Pharisees were filled with senseless rage [and lacked spiritual insight], and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus.
Choosing the Twelve
12Now at this time Jesus went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God. 13When day came, He called His disciples and selected twelve of them, whom He also named apostles (special messengers, personally chosen representatives): 14Simon, whom He also named Peter, and his brother Andrew; and [the brothers] James and John; and Philip, and Bartholomew [also called Nathanael]; 15and Matthew (Levi, the tax collector) and Thomas; and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot; 16Judas [also called Thaddaeus] the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor [to the Lord].
17Then Jesus came down with them and stood on a level place; and there was a large crowd of His disciples, and a vast multitude of people from all over Judea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon, 18who had come to listen to Him and to be healed of their diseases. Even those who were troubled by unclean spirits (demons) were being healed. 19All the people were trying to touch Him, because [healing] power was coming from Him and healing them all.
20And looking toward His disciples, He began speaking: “Blessed [spiritually prosperous, happy, to be admired] are you who are poor [in spirit, those devoid of spiritual arrogance, those who regard themselves as insignificant], for the kingdom of God is yours [both now and forever]. 21Blessed [joyful, nourished by God’s goodness] are you who hunger now [for righteousness, actively seeking right standing with God], for you will be [completely] satisfied. Blessed [forgiven, refreshed by God’s grace] are you who weep now [over your sins and repent], for you will laugh [when the burden of sin is lifted]. 22Blessed [morally courageous and spiritually alive with life-joy in God’s goodness] are you when people hate you, and exclude you [from their fellowship], and insult you, and scorn your name as evil because of [your association with] the Son of Man. 23Rejoice on that day and leap for joy, for your reward in heaven is great [absolutely inexhaustible]; for their fathers used to treat the prophets in the same way. 24But woe (judgment is coming) to you who are rich [and place your faith in possessions while remaining spiritually impoverished], for you are [already] receiving your comfort in full [and there is nothing left to be awarded to you]. 25Woe to you who are well-fed (gorged, satiated) now, for you will be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now [enjoying a life of self-indulgence], for you will mourn and weep [and deeply long for God]. 26Woe to you when all the people speak well of you and praise you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way.
27“But I say to you who hear [Me and pay attention to My words]: Love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies, [make it a practice to] do good to those who hate you, 28bless and show kindness to those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29Whoever strikes you on the cheek, offer him the other one also [simply ignore insignificant insults or losses and do not bother to retaliate—maintain your dignity]. Whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. 30Give to everyone who asks of you. Whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. 31Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. 32If you [only] love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34If you lend [money] to those from whom you expect to receive [it back], what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners expecting to receive back the same amount. 35But love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; for your reward will be great (rich, abundant), and you will be sons of the Most High; because He Himself is kind and gracious and good to the ungrateful and the wicked. 36Be merciful (responsive, compassionate, tender) just as your [heavenly] Father is merciful.
37“Do not judge [others self-righteously], and you will not be judged; do not condemn [others when you are guilty and unrepentant], and you will not be condemned [for your hypocrisy]; pardon [others when they truly repent and change], and you will be pardoned [when you truly repent and change]. 38Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over [with no space left for more]. For with the standard of measurement you use [when you do good to others], it will be measured to you in return.”
39He also told them a parable: “Can a blind man guide [another] blind man? Will they not both fall into a hole in the ground? 40A student is not superior to his teacher; but everyone, after he has been completely trained, will be like his teacher. 41Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice or consider the log that is in your own eye? 42How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, allow me to take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite (play actor, pretender), first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye. 43For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit. 44For each tree is known and identified by its own fruit. For figs are not picked from thorn bushes, nor is a cluster of grapes picked from a briar bush. 45The [intrinsically] good man produces what is good and honorable and moral out of the good treasure [stored] in his heart; and the [intrinsically] evil man produces what is wicked and depraved out of the evil [in his heart]; for his mouth speaks from the overflow of his heart.
A Secure Foundation
46“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not practice what I tell you? 47Everyone who comes to Me and listens to My words and obeys them, I will show you whom he is like: 48he is like a [far-sighted, practical, and sensible] man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and yet could not shake it, because it had been securely built and founded on the rock. 49But the one who has [merely] heard and has not practiced [what I say], is like a [foolish] man who built a house on the ground without any foundation, and the torrent burst against it; and it immediately collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.”