7/27/14 – Supremacy of Gospel Over Religious Tradition


Matthew 12:1-14 (ESV)

At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.” He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? Or have you not read in the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless? I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.” He went on from there and entered their synagogue. And a man was there with a withered hand. And they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” so that they might accuse him. He said to them, “Which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out? Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And the man stretched it out, and it was restored, healthy like the other. But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him.

A.  To a Jew, the invitation to rest would have immediately had the think of the 4th Commandment to observe a weekly Sabbath.
B.  God ordered the Sabbath for Jews to remember He was the Creator, so the Jews would be forced to reply upon Him, and for their good, because the body needs rest.

A.  The disciples eat a snack out of a field on the Sabbath and are accused of reaping on the Sabbath.
B.  The response of Jesus:
1.  They did not violate Law of God but the oral tradition and dis not harvest crops but simply ate a snack.
2.  David ate illegal bread and priests work on the Sabbath and God calls them guiltless because the spirit of the Law not violated.
3.  Concern that Temple be honored needed to become humble submission to Jesus.  He was greater than the Temple Laws.
4.  God never wanted rigid outward obedience but rather to set people free to love Him and others.
5.  Jesus did not have to follow their rules for humanity regarding the Sabbath because He is God.
C.  Traditions are fine but if they keep people from surviving, serving God, and extending mercy to others, we need to get new traditions.

A.  Man with a shriveled hand used as bait to try and discredit Jesus as a heretic and against the customs of His people.
B.  Jesus uses a genius apologetic.  If helping a defenseless animal on the Sabbath is ok, then helping a person in need is ok, since humans are more valuable than animals.
C.  The Pharisees are no longer content to try and discredit Jesus but are now determined to destroy Him.