Sunday, January 9, 2022
6-8 “There is far more at stake here than religion. If you had any idea what this Scripture meant—‘I prefer a flexible heart to an inflexible ritual’—you wouldn’t be nitpicking like this. The Son of Man is no yes-man to the Sabbath; he’s in charge.”
9-10 When Jesus left the field, he entered their meeting place. There was a man there with a crippled hand. They said to Jesus, “Is it legal to heal on the Sabbath?” They were baiting him.
-Matthew 12:6-10 The Message
Verse 6: But I say to you that something greater than the temple is here.
Verse 6 study: The Pharisees missed the whole purpose of the temple because they were too busy worrying about religious rituals. The purpose of the temple is to bring people closer to God. Jesus Christ is greater than the temple; imagine how better he can get people to God. To say that God is far more important than the created instruments of worship is an understatement. If we are more concerned with the means of worship than with the One we worship, we will miss God as we think we are worshipping him.
Verse 7: But if you had known what this means: ‘I desire compassion, rather than sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent.
Verse 7 study: Jesus reminded the Pharisees of the words the Jewish people heard time and time again throughout history (1 Samuel 15:22-23; Psalm 40:6-8; Isaiah 1:11-17; Jeremiah 7:21-23; Hosea 6:6). Our attitude that comes from the heart towards God comes first. Then, we can obey and observe religious regulations and rituals.
Lord of the Sabbath
Verse 8: For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”
Verse 8 study: When Jesus said he was the Lord of the Sabbath, he claimed to be greater than the law and above it. According to the Pharisees, this was heresy. They didn’t think that Jesus created the Sabbath. The Creator is always greater than creation, meaning Jesus had the authority to overrule their traditions and regulations.
Verse 9: Departing from there, He went into their synagogue.
Verse 10: And a man was there whose hand was withered. And they questioned Jesus, asking, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”—so that they might bring charges against Him.
Verse 10 study: As they pointed to the man with the withered hand, the Pharisees tried to trick Jesus by asking him if it was legal to heal on the Sabbath. Their Sabbath rules said that people could be helped if their lives were in danger. As seen in these parables, Jesus did heal on the Sabbath, and none were emergencies. If Jesus had waited another day, he would have submitted to the Pharisees’ authority, showing that their petty rules were equal to God’s law. If he had healed the man on the Sabbath, the Pharisees would have accused Jesus of breaking the rules; his power was not from God. Instead, Jesus made it clear their rules were petty. God is a God of the people, not rules. We all know the best time to reach out to someone; when they need help.
2 Chronicles 6:18; Isaiah 66:1, 2; Matthew 12:41, 42
Hosea 6:6; Matthew 9:13
Matthew 8:20; 12:32, 40
Matthew 12:2; Luke 13:14; 14:3; John 5:10, 7:23, 9:16
Father, let us take time to just thank you for all you do for us. Waking us up, food on the table, jobs, health. We are alive and should be thankful. Our task on earth is not done yet, and we continue to work for you every day. Thank you for your love and dedication to us every day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.