Lord of the Sabbath
In this passage we have two incidents that occur on the Sabbath for which Jesus gets criticised and accused by the Pharisees. Jesus answers in a teaching moment and the Pharisees resolve to destroy him v14.
The first incident occurs in a field where the disciples pluck some corn to eat and Jesus is accused, v1-2. Then Jesus answers, v3-8. The second is over a healing in v9-10 with Jesus’ answer and miracle, v11-13. In both incidents the religious leaders are trying to discredit Jesus by accusing Him of violating the Law. In both answers Jesus shows them their understanding of Scripture is poor and they don’t care for people.
The Sabbath – resting on the seventh day was a boundary marker under the Old Covenant. It was one of the ways you could spot an Old Covenant believer – dietary laws, circumcision and Sabbath observing. Having a day a week is sensible to prevent burnout and to re-create and refresh. The New Covenant reveals to us that Sabbath rest from work is a picture of Jesus giving rest from works of the law all the time. It’s a type or shadow of what was to come. Jesus is the Lord of Sabbath – he gives us rest from working to earn God’s favour. By giving it to us freely.
As Paul teaches us in Galatians the Law was put in charge like a schoolmaster until Jesus’ arrival (Gal 3:24) to lead people to their need of grace. We are now under grace not under law (Romans 6:14). To go back to the law means we go under the whole thing and have to rely on it for salvation, which is a bad move!
Grace teaches us to say no to unrighteousness and empowers us by the Spirit far more than the impotent law could!
So enjoy God’s grace and favour today and forevermore.