Last night I was privileged to share from the Bible at Boyd Ave. Baptist Church in Casper. This is the text (Matthew 12) I shared:
1 At about that time Jesus was walking through some grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, so they began breaking off some heads of grain and eating them. 2 But some Pharisees saw them do it and protested, "Look, your disciples are breaking the law by harvesting grain on the Sabbath."
3 Jesus said to them, "Haven't you read in the Scriptures what David did when he and his companions were hungry? 4 He went into the house of God, and he and his companions broke the law by eating the sacred loaves of bread that only the priests are allowed to eat. 5 And haven't you read in the law of Moses that the priests on duty in the Temple may work on the Sabbath?6 I tell you, there is one here who is even greater than the Temple! 7 But you would not have condemned my innocent disciples if you knew the meaning of this Scripture: 'I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.' 8 For the Son of Man* is Lord, even over the Sabbath!"
9 Then Jesus went over to their synagogue, 10 where he noticed a man with a deformed hand. The Pharisees asked Jesus, "Does the law permit a person to work by healing on the Sabbath?" (They were hoping he would say yes, so they could bring charges against him.)
11 And he answered, "If you had a sheep that fell into a well on the Sabbath, wouldn't you work to pull it out? Of course you would. 12 And how much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Yes, the law permits a person to do good on the Sabbath."
13 Then he said to the man, "Hold out your hand." So the man held out his hand, and it was restored, just like the other one! 14 Then the Pharisees called a meeting to plot how to kill Jesus.
Here are a few of the thoughts from this text:
- The BIG POINT - Jesus proclaims He is Lord of the Sabbath (the Law) in the first encounter and proclaims He is Lord of Man (the sheep analogy) in the second. Is He Lord of your life?
- The people that were confronting Jesus were attempting to do right based upon their own interpretation of God's Word. They were focused upon the 'Letter' of the law and missed the 'Spirit' of the law. These men had unwittingly elevated the law above the law-giver. Jesus is greater than the law (and the fulfiller of it). Have you elevated anything above Jesus Christ - the Son of God? Tradition, Law, Money, Addiction...?
- It is very common for someone who is guilty of very blatant sin to find pleasure in accusing someone else of doing just about what ever they can find...they attempt to appease their own conscience. Usually, with little to no success. A person usually looks very small in doing this...a Christian usually makes Christ look very small in doing this...a much greater sin than the accused mallady. Have you taken up the seat of an accuser in any of your relationships?
- What can we learn from Christ in this? Doing good does not need to wait upon laws or seasons or even convenience. There is nothing convenient about living the Christian life for you and I...we must embrace this...we must have the willing nature of our Lord...even when scoffers come and doubters doubt.
- Here is the Gospel in this text - Jesus overcame everything to call to you and say ‘stretch out your hand to Me’ - come to Me all who are burdened and heavy laden and I will give you rest. That is the point of salvation for our souls...when we stretch out to Him in obedience to His call on us. Have you? If so, then just thank Him that He called. Next Step - Who in your circle is ready to stretch out to the Lord - you might be the Lord hands and feet for a weary soul in need of God’s healing touch of forgiveness.