Mark 2:23-28 (NASB)
²³And it happened that He was passing through the grainfields on the Sabbath, and His disciples began to make their way along while picking the heads of grain.
²⁴The Pharisees were saying to Him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?”
²⁵And He said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he was in need and he and his companions became hungry; ²⁶how he entered the house of God in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the consecrated bread, which is not lawful for anyone to eat except the priests, and he also gave it to those who were with him?”
²⁷Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. ²⁸So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
Jesus walked in the grainfields on the Sabbath, His twelve disciples could not help picking some ears and were eating them. The Pharisees however didn’t like that. They believed that picking ears is the same as harvesting, so working. And work is not allowed, because it is the day of rest.
Jesus does not agree. According to Him, you should always look at the meaning of a rule that God has given.
The Sabbath is the day of rest.
God has instituted that obligatory day of rest because you cannot always keep working. That wouldn’t be healthy.
It is also not good for the country and the animals to never get rest.
That rest is heartily granted to everyone (Exodus 16:1-30, 20:8-11, 31:12-17).
After His creative work, God Himself also rested on the seventh day (Genesis 2:2,3). He chose that day as the day on which humans and animals could rest. So He gave that day to man as a good thing. God also made that resting possible by caring for man.
That is why the day of rest is also a day of trust in God. A day to thank God and reflect on His work. There is something else too. Jesus may determine how to fill that day in the best way for his disciples. For to Him God gives all power (Mark 2:27,28; Jesus calls Himself in Mark 2:28 the Son of man. Daniel 7:13,14 shows that God gives Him dominion).
We can let ourselves be led by Him. Jesus does not see the action of his disciples at all as contrary to God’s purpose. God takes care of them in this very way!
Jesus clarifies his vision with an example from the Old Testament. God made sure there was always bread in his house. Twelve loaves of bread. One loaf for each tribe of Israel. God provided the food and drink for all the people of Israel.
Normally only the priests were allowed to eat that bread (Leviticus 24:5-9). But David was also allowed to do this, when he was on the run from King Saul, he was in need (1 Samuel 21:1-6). In the same way the Lord took care of David.
The deepest intention was that there is bread for everyone who trusts in God and takes refuge in his house. Then Father takes care of his children.
▪︎ Ask God to help you practice and live the meaning of His teaching, out of His concern for you.
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