35. Sabbath controversy #2 Picking Grain Heads

Matthew 12:1-8; Mark 2:23-28; Luke 6:1-5;

The tradition of the elders is a body of laws created by the Pharisees to put a hedge or fence around the the law of God to prevent the people of Israel from breaking the law. These laws especially protected the sabbath.

23 Moreover, I swore to them in the wilderness that I would scatter them among the nations and disperse them through the countries, 24 because they had not obeyed my rules, but had rejected my statutes and profaned my Sabbaths, and their eyes were set on their fathers’ idols. Ezekiel 20:23-24 See also: Leviticus 26:33-34

“Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they don’t wash their hands when they eat.” Matthew 15:2

(Jesus Quotes Isaiah 29:13)
“‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me;in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.”
And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! Mark 7:5-9 ESV

Picking Grain heads

  • v1 The sabbath legitimately prohibited labor for profit but did not prevent an individual to glean grain to eat. Deuteronomy 23:25
  • v2 There was nothing unlawful happening. This is the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. They would allow someone to go hungry for the sake of the sabbath.
  • v3 In 1 Samuel 21 Jonathan warns David of Saul’s anger and David Flees to Nob and asks for the bread of the presence.
  • v4 These 12 loaves cooked every sabbath were only lawful for the priests to eat. Leviticus 24:5-9
    • Sabbath laws do not restrict deeds of necessity. Service to God, acts of mercy etc. Human necessity is takes precedence over sabbath principles.
    • Principles over connection
  • v5 The priests had to labor on the sabbaths which would desecrate the sabbaths if the sabbath was held as a moral absolute.
  • v6 Jesus knew the Pharisees highly revered the temple and made claim that he is greater. He was challenging their pride and perspective.
  • v7 Hosea 6:6-7. Jesus desires that we relieve people from pressure not crush them with more weight. Matthew 5:7
  • v8 Jesus is accusing the Pharisees of honoring the sabbath more than God by claiming deity as “Son of Man” Daniel 7

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