Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Jesus Gave Four Well-Reasoned Responses

1) First, He referred to Israel’s history, when king David and his men were hungry. The priest had mercy on David’s men and allowed them to eat the consecrated bread meant only for priests.

--> Jesus was far greater than David, He was the Son of God. Didn’t it make sense to show mercy to Jesus’ disciples?

2) Next, the Lord referred to Israel’s levitical laws. It was necessary for the priests to perform their regular duties especially on the Sabbath in order for the people to be able to worship and serve God. They were guiltless before God since they were obeying Him, though they did back-breaking labor all day long on the Sabbath.

--> Jesus was God’s Son, greater than even the service of the temple.

--> Jesus was also greater than the temple itself, since the temple was just a shadow, a precursor, to the Great High Priest Who would sacrifice Himself, the Lamb of God, once and for all, for the sins of the world.

The day Jesus died the great curtain in the temple that divided the Holy of Holies from everyone else would be torn in two, so that all could freely come to God through Christ. The Lord Jesus had the authority to allow His disciples to pluck and eat grain on the Sabbath as they were serving Him, following Him and doing His will.

3) After that Jesus referred to the prophets, quoting from Hosea
"I'd rather for you to be faithful and to know me than to offer sacrifices." And "Israel, you enjoy cheating and taking advantage of others." [Hosea 6:6 and 12:7]
and the Pharisees would have remembered the second half of that verse, “I desire the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.”

Mercy is better than rituals, don’t condemn mercy; and knowing God is better than going through religious motions. Any religious law that is
* Contrary to mercy,
* Contrary to taking care of people,
* Contrary to bringing us closer to God, into a more intimate knowledge of God...
Should give us pause.

God wants love, not legalism

4) Finally, Jesus declared Himself Lord of the Sabbath.
--> His interpretation of what was lawful carried infinitely more weight than the scribes and Pharisees.

* What is your approach to the Sabbath, and other "religious" customs?
* In what ways might you need to honor God above customs and rules?

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