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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

God Is What The Sabbath Is All About

God Is What The Sabbath Is All About

Matthew 12:1-8
At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath.” He answered, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread—which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests. Or haven’t you read in the Law that the priests on Sabbath duty in the temple desecrate the Sabbath and yet are innocent? I tell you that something greater than the temple is here. If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” Matthew 12:1-8 NIV

Bottom Line:
Jesus prefer's a flexible heart to an inflexible ritual

What this means to me:
I should not let rituals or habits keep me from what’s most important; a relationship with my Lord and with people.

Today's passages come from the first part of Matthew chapter 12 and it's a discussion that takes place about the Sabbath. In this passage the Pharisees point out how Jesus disciples were breaking heads of grain from a field and eatting them to satisfy their hunger on the Sabbath.

Jesus referred the Pharisees back to the story of David and how he and his companions broke the law by eating the sacred bread that only the priests were to eat. Furthermore he pointed out how the priests on duty in the Temple were allowed to work on the Sabbath. Present with them today, is one who is even greater than the Temple itself.

Jesus goes on to point out that they would have not condemned his disciples if they really understood the meaning of this Scripture, "I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices." Jesus was telling them that he prefer's a flexible heart to an inflexible ritual. Besides, for the Son of Man is Lord, even over the Sabbath.

The Pharisees had created categories of actions that they thought were forbidden on the Sabbath, all based on their interpretations of God’s law and Jewish custom. Harvesting grain was one of those forbidden actions.

On that particular day, Jesus and the disciples were picking grain because they were hungry, not because they wanted to harvest the grain for a profit. They were not “working” on the Sabbath. Unfortunately the Pharisees were too concerned about religious rituals and too determined to accuse Jesus of any wrongdoing. In this, they missed the whole purpose of the temple, which was to bring people closer to God. And because Jesus is even greater than the temple, He was much more capable of bringing people closer to God.

What I’m learning is that the Sabbath wasn’t about doing good works (or avoiding bad ones) as much as it was about relationship. In fact, Colossians 2:16-17 says that the Sabbath is now found in Jesus. Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ who is with us now.

Why is this teaching written down?  Its here for me to be cautious about anything I use as a tradition or habit that I have relied on instead of seeking a closer relationship with God?

Heavenly Father, this morning I ask you to forgive me for seeking results over relationship with You and the other people I love. I want to know You better. I long to be a child who takes after Your own heart.

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