Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Morning Cup of Tea: Unlawful on the Sabbath

Today's scripture is Matthew 12: 1-12

As this chapter opens it is the Sabbath and Jesus and his followers are walking through corn fields. The disciples begin to get hungry so they pluck ears of corn and eat. The pharisees who are with him witness this, and are appalled.  This is not allowed on the Sabbath day!
  Jesus reminded them (v 3-5) that David, when he was being chased and had hidden in the  temple, ate the shewbread, which is for the priests. But he and his people were hungry, and they couldn't go back to the palace or anywhere else for that matter for food. God did not punish him for this.  Also, he reminded them that the priests profane the Sabbath all the time --by working--and are blameless.  It is their job, they have to do their work on that day.
  6. But I say unto you,  That in this place is one greater than the temple.
  7. But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.
  8. For the Son of man is Lord even on the Sabbath day.
I think this last was a gentle rebuke, reminding the pharisees that if Jesus has no problem with what they are doing, they should not either.

That same day in the temple, the pharisees tried to trap Jesus into wrongdoing so they could accuse him and get him out of the way.  There is a man in the temple with a withered hand and they ask him, Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?
 11.  And he said unto them, What  man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it and lift it out?
12. How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath.
13.  Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like the other.

We no longer worship on the sabbath but on the first day of the week (Sunday). While it is true that work was forbidden on the sabbath, the pharisees by this time had become so legalistic they weren't allowing much at all to be done on that day. Jesus told them quite plainly here that it is okay to do good on the sabbath. You wouldn't leave a sheep in the ditch for a day because of not being able to work. The sheep would die. People are worth more than animals, Jesus said. We need to take care of one another. 

No comments:

Post a Comment