One Sabbath he was going through the grain-fields, and as they made their way, his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. And the Pharisees were saying to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God, in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?” And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”
Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand. And they watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come here.” And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.
Comment: Two more issues dear to the heart of the Jewish leaders are here dealt with. Both have to do with keeping the Sabbath. The first with food and the second with healing on the seventh day of the week. David broke the law by eating the holy bread from the worship place when he and his men were hungry. Everybody honoured, almost revered, David. Jesus said that his disciples were hungry and that they were acting similarly to what David did. The inference was get ‘off my back’! The very serious message was ‘the rest day is meant for the benefit of mankind not as a binding limitation to destroy them.’ But remember He still kept the Sabbath!
On another Sabbath – In a synagogue the scene is set up as follows. It almost seems to me as if God had set it as a backdrop for a very important lesson. Watching are some nasty minded leaders waiting to see what He was going to do. They had already noted the guy with his ‘withered hand’, and they knew He was prone to heal. In walks Jesus, some how knowing what they were thinking, and calls the withered hand, with a real person attached to it, to him and asked the question “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” The leaders were struck dumb, and Jesus healed the man.
The time for discussion, as the leaders saw it, was passed so they sought those whom they saw as being able of getting rid of Him.
Prayer: Set me free to life as You would have me, O God.