¹At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath, and His disciples became hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat.
²But when the Pharisees saw this, they said to Him, “Look, Your disciples do what is not lawful to do on a Sabbath.”
³But He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he became hungry, he and his companions, ⁴how he entered the house of God, and they ate the consecrated bread, which was not lawful for him to eat nor for those with him, but for the priests alone? ⁵Or have you not read in the Law, that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple break the Sabbath and are innocent?
⁶But I say to you that something greater than the temple is here. ⁷But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire compassion, and not a sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. ⁸For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”
The Lord of the Sabbath
God had instituted the Sabbath in Israel as a day of rest, as a sign of freedom.
The Israelites had been slaves in Egypt, but God had redeemed them. They never had to be slaves again, they were allowed to enjoy the freedom of God.
The Sabbath made that visible.
Woe therefore to him, who did not keep this law, who disregarded the good will of God by going to work even on this fine day (In the law the Sabbath commandment stands out as an important commandment, a sign between God and His people, see Exodus 31:12-17; cf. Numbers 15:32-36)!
Jesus lived completely according to God’s purpose.
Yet, in doing so, He came into conflict with the religious leaders of Israel.
The Sabbath law has played an important role in this confrontation.
Here, on the Sabbath, Jesus walks with his disciples through the cornfields.
His disciples were hungry, so they plucked some ears of corn, rubbed them between their hands, and ate the kernels (See Deuteronomy 23:25).
“Hey, that’s not allowed on the Sabbath!” the Pharisees responded.
“That’s work!” The Pharisees attached great importance to the law as a revelation from God. They spoke to Jesus about the sin of his disciples.
Were the Pharisees right?
Was it forbidden work what the disciples were doing?
Jesus does not enter into that discussion with the Pharisees.
He is willing to accept that what his students do is against the letter of the law. David also once acted contrary to the law when, fleeing from Saul, he took the shewbread from the sanctuary and ate it with his men (1 Samuel 21:1-9; For these loaves see Leviticus 24:5-9).
Was he an offender?
The intention of Jesus in mentioning this history is clear: the law is not intended to enslave people to rules, but to give people freedom.
Jesus is not a slave of the Sabbath, He is the Lord of the Sabbath.
The Sabbath is at His service.
That is how we can deal with the law today.
The law is not a set of rules that we simply have to follow. The law contains good rules from God, designed to give us freedom and joy.
- What does this piece mean for our celebration of the day of rest?
- Ask God to help you not to enslave people.
□ ■ □
Read more of these messages at: https://devotionals.harryschoemaker.nl
Download your Bible pictures from: http://bijbelplaatjes.nl
Follow me on: