HEART OF THE LAW-GIVER
Lord, I worship You, Almighty God and Father. How truly great You are!
Read Luke 6:1–11
Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath
6 One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and his disciples began to pick some heads of grain, rub them in their hands and eat the kernels. 2 Some of the Pharisees asked, “Why are you doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?”
3 Jesus answered them, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? 4 He entered the house of God, and taking the consecrated bread, he ate what is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.” 5 Then Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”
6 On another Sabbath he went into the synagogue and was teaching, and a man was there whose right hand was shriveled. 7 The Pharisees and the teachers of the law were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal on the Sabbath. 8 But Jesus knew what they were thinking and said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Get up and stand in front of everyone.” So he got up and stood there.
9 Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?”
10 He looked around at them all, and then said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so, and his hand was completely restored. 11 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law were furious and began to discuss with one another what they might do to Jesus.
New International Version (NIV)
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Reflect“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy” (Exod. 20:8). Reflect on how meaningfully you do this.
The Pharisees have been hounding Jesus like the paparazzi sniffing out scandals! They are not seekers after the truth, but only seek incriminating evidence by which to condemn Jesus. In today’s passage, they register two protests related to Sabbath laws against “harvesting” (1–5) and “healing” (6–11).
In the first story, Jesus is not interested in a debate over whether the Pharisees’ interpretation of the Law was correct or not; instead, he makes a declaration about his true identity (5). Citing David (3,4), Jesus decries barren legalism; but in referring to himself as “The Son of Man”—which is a Messianic title (Dan. 7:13,14)—Jesus declares himself greater than David, the long-awaited Son of David. The Pharisees’ rejection of this identity is the root of the many confrontations (11) that follow.
The “Lord of the Sabbath” (5b) is not subject to the Law but is both the Law giver and the Law’s finest and final interpreter. The Pharisees remembered the Law, but they had forgotten God’s purpose in giving it. They also ignored the laws about loving their neighbor (Lev. 19:18) and not committing murder (Exod. 20:13). The Pharisees knew the Law by heart, but Jesus revealed the loving heart of the Law giver (9).
Is my focus on being law-abiding or on abiding in the Lord?
Lord, give me Your discernment in my daily decisions that I may glorify You.
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