Its all good…

Hi

Sometimes we forget that guidance or rules are actually for our benefit and following them actually results in a much better life!

In Matthews Gospel chapter 12 we read this: “At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. And His disciples were hungry, and began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. And when the Pharisees sawit, they said to Him, “Look, Your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath!” But He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and ate the showbread which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? 

According to the Pharisees, the disciples were guilty of preparing a meal on a day they should not have been doing so.

Consider the disciples’ motivation for what they did. First, they were hungry. Second, they were itinerate, using as someone said “shoe leather express,” traveling with Jesus. He instructed them, giving them examples of His way of life, all along the way. He Himself said that He had no place to lay His head. They had, therefore, no place to prepare a meal. They did not have homes that they could readily return to.

These were strong, young men, probably in their twenties or early thirties (about the same age as Jesus), so they could have fasted without a problem. But, because it was the Sabbath, Jesus deliberately drew attention to one of the Sabbath’s main purposes: It is a day of mercy and not a day of sacrifice.

Jesus reasoned that, if it was all right for David to allay his hunger under an unusual circumstance by eating bread that had been consecrated for holy use, His disciples could provide for their needs in this manner.

So what is He saying? The Sabbath is a day of mercy and if one can rightly, lawfully use “holy bread” to do something that, according to the letter of the law, was illegal, then it was also legitimate for the disciples to provide for their needs also in an unusual circumstance.

The emphasis here is on the word unusual. How frequently was David fleeing for his life and finding himself hungry? It did happen, at least this one time, but it did not happen every Sabbath. Maybe in David’s lifetime something like this occurred a few times, but even for a man of war like David, it did not happen all that frequently.

The overall lesson, however, is that it is not the intention of God’s law to deprive anybody of good things. The intent of God’s law is to ensure life.

In this case then, they were blameless because a larger obligation overruled the letter of the law. The larger obligation was to be merciful. The letter of the law said that they could not have that bread. The larger obligation said that it was more important to eat than it was to fast (to sacrifice eating). 

Lets learn from this and as, with God’s help we follow as best as we can the teaching through Scripture for us as Christians we can remember that it is for ours and others benefits and for abundant life!

Have a great day

Mark

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