Lord of the Sabbath (Mt 12:1-8)
O Jesus, you are God, Lord even of the Sabbath.
Picture Jesus with his disciples being confronted by the Pharisees.
The gospels use these confrontation stories to highlight Jesus’ authority to bring out new aspects of Christian life, and most important, to reveal Jesus’ identity.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
On the Sabbath, Jesus and his disciples went through a cornfield. The disciples were hungry and plucked the heads of grain and ate them. Some Pharisees saw them and said, “See here, your disciples are doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath.”
Jesus answered them, “Have you not read what David did when he and his men were hungry? How he entered God’s house and took and ate the holy bread, a thing forbidden to him and his men or to anyone except for priests? Have you not read that the priests on duty can break the Sabbath rest and incur no guilt! I assure you, something greater than the temple is here. If you understood the meaning of the text, ‘It is mercy that I desire and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned these innocent men. The son of Man is indeed Lord, even of the Sabbath.”
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)
- Jewish people, walking through a cornfield, were allowed to pluck the grain. The Pharisees object because the disciples are doing this on the Sabbath.
- Jesus cites King David as an example of freedom.
- David acted correctly. His men’s well-being was more important than the law.
- Jesus also cites the priests who help people in the temple on the Sabbath.
- The disciples’ serving Jesus is greater than being in the temple.
- Jesus leaves no doubt about his own greatness. He is the Lord with authority over the Sabbath.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- Jesus, Your Father has given me all of creation.
- Set me free, Jesus from all anxieties and false limitations.
- When I serve you, Jesus, I am free.
- You always place me first, Jesus. I am always the center of your attention.
- You are greater than the temple. You are God. You are Lord.
- You are greater than the Sabbath. You are the son of Man.
- You have all power. You love me and want me to be with you forever.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
+ By faith in Jesus, I will try to experience true freedom.
+ In my heart this day, I will constantly proclaim Jesus as Lord.
Thought for Today: (To recall your Meditation.)
A greater than the temple is here. The Son of Man is Lord, even of the Sabbath.