Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Distorting The Law

Mark 2:23-28

“And it came to pass, that he went through the corn fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn.   And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful?” (Mark 2:23-24)

Deuteronomy 23:24-25 specifically gave permission to pick and eat some of th4e crop when one passed through a field.  “When thou comest into thy neighbour's vineyard, then thou mayest eat grapes thy fill at thine own pleasure; but thou shalt not put any in thy vessel.  When thou comest into the standing corn of thy neighbour, then thou mayest pluck the ears with thine hand; but thou shalt not move a sickle unto thy neighbour's standing corn.”   As they walked through the field, the disciples were hungry, and they began to pick some of the grain, just as they would any other day.  It was no different than if they had been walking through an orchard and picked up an apple to eat.  While it was true that the Jews were not to build a fire to cook on the Sabbath, they were allowed to eat things that were already at hand.   Thanks to the various schools of interpretation, even such things were condemned. 

“And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungred, he, and they that were with him?  How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the showbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him?” (Mark 2:25-26)

Jesus reminded them how that David, when fleeing from Saul, in I Samuel 21, had been given the shew bread even though it was reserved for the priests and was not to be eaten by anyone else.  The Jews held David in extremely hih regard, so in essence he was asking if David was sinning when he ate it. 

“And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.” (Mark 2:27-28)

As Jesus pointed out, the Sabbath was made to give man a chance to rest and recuperate, not to be a burden on mankind.  Man’s needs take precedence over the rules of the Sabbath, and God’ own son has the right to ignore them to provide for people, just as the Jews would not have hesitated to save one of their animals.   The Pharisees were distorting the law with their overly strict interpretation.   The disciples were not harvesting the crop or gathering extra food for later.  

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