Matthew 12



Matthew 12 illustrates various encounters between Jesus and the religious leaders, emphasizing the significance of mercy over legalistic interpretations of the law. Jesus' actions and teachings highlight his authority and the importance of recognizing the signs of the Messiah. The chapter concludes with a focus on true discipleship and familial relationships centered on doing the will of God.


  1. Plucking Grain on the Sabbath (Matthew 12:1-8): Jesus and his disciples are criticized by the Pharisees for plucking grain on the Sabbath. In response, Jesus refers to the example of David and emphasizes the principle of mercy over sacrifice.
  2. Healing on the Sabbath (Matthew 12:9-14): Jesus enters a synagogue on the Sabbath and heals a man with a withered hand. The Pharisees, angered by this violation of their interpretation of the Sabbath law, conspire against Jesus.
  3. Servant of the Lord (Matthew 12:15-21): Matthew quotes the prophecy from Isaiah 42, presenting Jesus as the Servant of the Lord who will bring justice to the Gentiles. Jesus' ministry fulfills this prophetic role.
  4. Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12:22-32): Jesus heals a demon-possessed man, and the Pharisees attribute the miracle to Beelzebul, the prince of demons. Jesus warns about the seriousness of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, stating that such a sin will not be forgiven.
  5. A Tree Is Known by Its Fruit (Matthew 12:33-37): Jesus teaches that a tree is known by its fruit, and he emphasizes the importance of good words reflecting a good heart. People will be judged by their words.
  6. The Sign of Jonah (Matthew 12:38-45): The Pharisees ask for a sign, and Jesus refers to the sign of Jonah, foreshadowing his death and resurrection. He warns about the consequences of an unrepentant generation.
  7. True Family of Jesus (Matthew 12:46-50): Jesus' biological family seeks to speak with him, but he declares that his true family consists of those who do the will of his Father in heaven.