Matthew 12:18-28 (The Message)

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18 Look well at my handpicked servant; I love him so much, take such delight in him. I've placed my Spirit on him; he'll decree justice to the nations. 19 But he won't yell, won't raise his voice; there'll be no commotion in the streets. 20 He won't walk over anyone's feelings, won't push you into a corner. Before you know it, his justice will triumph; 21 the mere sound of his name will signal hope, even among far-off unbelievers. 22 Next a poor demon-afflicted wretch, both blind and deaf, was set down before him. Jesus healed him, gave him his sight and hearing. 23 The people who saw it were impressed - "This has to be the Son of David!" 24 But the Pharisees, when they heard the report, were cynical. "Black magic," they said. "Some devil trick he's pulled from his sleeve." 25 Jesus confronted their slander. "A judge who gives opposite verdicts on the same person cancels himself out; a family that's in a constant squabble disintegrates; 26 if Satan banishes Satan, is there any Satan left? 27 If you're slinging devil mud at me, calling me a devil kicking out devils, doesn't the same mud stick to your own exorcists? 28 "But if it's by God's power that I am sending the evil spirits packing, then God's kingdom is here for sure.
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