Advancing the Conversation of Jesus
At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath, and His disciples became hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat. But when the Pharisees saw this, they said to Him, “Look, Your disciples do what is not lawful to do on a Sabbath.” But He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he became hungry, he and his companions, how he entered the house of God, and they ate the consecrated bread, which was not lawful for him to eat nor for those with him, but for the priests alone? Or have you not read in the Law, that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple break the Sabbath and are innocent? But I say to you that something greater than the temple is here. But if you had known what this means, ‘I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT A SACRIFICE,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” (Matthew 12:1-8)
The Jewish religious scene of the 1st century that was ruffled most by the Jesus revolution was twofold:
- Sabbath-breaking—In this incident it was “working on the Sabbath.” Plucking was equivalent to reaping and rubbing to threshing and that these were prohibited works on the Sabbath. But Jesus says, hungry people should be fed and sick people should be healed no matter the religious regulations.
- Fraternizing with sinners—When Matthew, the sinner, was called, he threw a party full of sinners!
I DESIRE COMPASSION AND NOT SACRIFICE. According to God’s reckoning, compassion matters more than ceremonial rules and regulations, people more than things. They could not allow the Messiah into their lives, because in their substitution of things man-made (laws) for things divine (grace), they excluded the possibility of Jesus being the Son of God.
Now get this, the God of gods who developed a most elaborate sacrificial system is saying that these sacrifices and religiosities do not matter in comparison to your heart bent toward God and your personal relationship with Him.
IT DOESN’T MATTER: That you are “right”. That you “go to church”. That you “read your bible”. That you “do your prayers”. That you “join a group”. When you “go to church”. (what day, what time, what place) Whether you “like the music” or not. COMPARED TO God owning your heart, your head, your life to the point that you are willing to follow His truth rather than your convenient traditions!
The point of the Jesus revolution is that you learn to walk with him, walk with others and wait on him to lead out on all your decisions—no matter what! It’s not “I think I want to do this or that”, but “Jesus, what is it that you want me to do, where do you want me to go, how do you want me to do this or that?” It’s getting to the point that “I don’t know”, but “he does” and I’m going to listen to him.