Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Jesus -"The Lord of the Sabbath"

In Luke's Gospel, the 6th Chapter we see Jesus teaching the Pharisees a lesson in Sacred scripture study. The Pharisees see Jesus disciple's picking grain and eating it, not permissible by the Torah on the Sabbath. They raise a complaint and Jesus gives them a teaching about who He is and the Sabbath. Read this carefully :
"While he was going through a field of grain on a sabbath, his disciples were picking the heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands, and eating them."

Some Pharisees said, "Why are you doing what is unlawful on the sabbath?"

Jesus said to them in reply, "Have you not read what David did when he and those (who were) with him were hungry?

(How) he went into the house of God, took the bread of offering, which only the priests could lawfully eat, ate of it, and shared it with his companions."

Then he said to them, "The Son of Man is lord of the sabbath."
The Pharisees who were strict followers of the Law and knew the Torah (the first Five Books of the Moses - Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy) They also knew what passage Jesus was referring to : 1 Samuel 21: 1-6 which reads:
Then David departed on his way, while Jonathan went back into the city.

David went to Ahimelech, the priest of Nob, who came trembling to meet him and asked, "Why are you alone? Is there no one with you?"

David answered the priest: "The king gave me a commission and told me to let no one know anything about the business on which he sent me or the commission he gave me. For that reason I have arranged a meeting place with my men.

Now what have you on hand? Give me five loaves, or whatever you can find."

But the priest replied to David, "I have no ordinary bread on hand, only holy bread; if the men have abstained from women, you may eat some of that."

David answered the priest: "We have indeed been segregated from women as on previous occasions. Whenever I go on a journey, all the young men are consecrated--even for a secular journey. All the more so today, when they are consecrated at arms!"

So the priest gave him holy bread, for no other bread was on hand except the showbread which had been removed from the LORD'S presence and replaced by fresh bread when it was taken away.
David is fleeing Saul. He has his followers with him and he's hungry. David and his men eat the bread which is only supposed to be consumed by the priests. But what also takes place is that there is a spy among them as David and his men are eating, remember David is a fugitive fleeing Saul who seeks to kill him.

One of Saul's servants was there that day, detained before the LORD; his name was Doeg the Edomite, and he was Saul's chief henchman.

David then asked Ahimelech: "Do you have a spear or a sword on hand? I brought along neither my sword nor my weapons, because the king's business was urgent."

The priest replied: "The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Vale of the Terebinth, is here (wrapped in a mantle) behind an ephod. If you wish to take that, take it; there is no sword here except that one." David said: "There is none to match it. Give it to me!"
That same day David took to flight from Saul, going to Achish, king of Gath.
Then Doeg the Edomite, who was standing with the officers of Saul, spoke up: "I saw the son of Jesse come to Ahimelech, son of Ahitub, in Nob.

He consulted the LORD for him and gave him supplies, and the sword of Goliath the Philistine as well."

At this the king sent a summons to Ahimelech the priest, son of Ahitub, and to all his family who were priests in Nob; and they all came to the king.

Then Saul said, "Listen, son of Ahitub!" He replied, "Yes, my lord."

Saul asked him, "Why did you conspire against me with the son of Jesse by giving him food and a sword and by consulting God for him, that he might rebel against me and become my enemy, as is the case today?"

Ahimelech answered the king: "And who among all your servants is as loyal as David, the king's son-in-law, captain of your bodyguard, and honored in your own house?
The king therefore commanded Doeg, "You make the rounds and kill the priests!" So Doeg the Edomite went from one to the next and killed the priests himself, slaying on that day eighty-five who wore the linen ephod.

Saul also put the priestly city of Nob to the sword, including men and women, children and infants, and oxen, asses and sheep.
The spy kills the priests. Jesus is essentially saying three things to the Pharisees and they knew quite well what he meant: 1) I am like David: a King and a Priest 2) My disciples are priests and they can eat on the Sabbath as well 3) You are like that spy Doeg the Edomite who killed the priests. How powerful a lesson was that! But Jesus tops it off but letting the Pharisees know that the Sabbath was created for Him and His Father and the Holy Spirit for Jesus declares that "the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath!"

Awesome display of teaching by Jesus.

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