Journey 17, Part 1: Plucking Grain on the Sabbath
This is a 3 part journey; however, only part 1 is covered today. We are in Mark 2:23-28; Matthew 12:1-8; Luke 6:1-5, and Jesus is journeying from Jerusalem to Galilee, next perhaps Capernaum (85 miles), and then to the shore of the Sea of Galilee.
The Disciples eat grain while going through a field with Jesus on the Sabbath. The Pharisees see it and object. Jesus answers their objections. Do note: The things Jesus says and the things I summarize in each point here are not to necessarily negate the Sabbath, but actually make it better!
The Pharisees had criticized Jesus’ Disciples for plucking corn on the Sabbath, to which, Jesus defended them by referring to the two examples in the Old Testament. First, David and his men were very hungry and needed food expediently.
Now, they were rightly allowed to eat the holy bread of the Tabernacle, which only Priests were allowed to eat (as we see in 1 Samuel 21:1-6). Second, even the Levitical Priests worked on the Sabbath, for they had to prepare and offer sacrifices (Numbers 28:9-10).
Both examples had shown the Pharisees that in case of a necessity, the legal requirement of a specific law might be overruled, because of the following:
- Life is more important than ritual.
- Mercy is more important than sacrifice.
- Jesus is more important than the Temple.
- People are more important than the Sabbath
- The Sabbath was given as a benefit, not for discomfort.
Therefore, since Jesus is the Messiah, He has all authority to decide how the Sabbath is best used.
What can we learn from this?
The Sabbath is sacred and Divine in origin, yes, to which, it is not to be used for labor. God never wanted the Sabbath to be a burden, but He wanted rest. The Sabbath was instituted for the good of humanity, so in living in a society of so much troubles and busyness, one may have a day to dedicate in service to God.
The rules and regulations given were not strict, but were as guidelines for what a Sabbath should be like. One should never neglect to appreciate at least one day of rest a week, especially dedicating it to service unto God, for this would be a chance to recuperate and recharge. Man’s keeping of the Sabbath is not a service to God, but a service unto God!
People could have many Sabbath Days a week, where they rest and dedicate service unto God; however, the point is in Jesus’ message here, is that needs can be met on a Sabbath Day, because they are of necessity.
The Sabbath was not a day to bring dread upon a person, but a day to enjoy and be happy of the life God gives us; a day of freedom, hope, recharging, relaxing, etc.
=> What we do on the Sabbath is up to us, not some law or code. The Sabbath was established before the Law, just as sowing and reaping was, and therefore, it will continue to be a Divinely inspired operation on Earth!