December 18

Text: Matthew 12:1, 2

At that time Jesus went on the Sabbath through the grainfields, and His disciples became hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat.  But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, "Behold, Your disciples do what is not lawful to do on a Sabbath."  (NASB)

Matthew saw in Jesus someone who was bigger than Jewish religious traditions, bigger than God’s commands to Israel, bigger than deformity, bigger than physical sickness, bigger than the forces of evil, bigger than Satan himself, bigger than the Jewish prophets, and someone with a new concept of family.  Jesus fulfilled all of God’s promises—he was God’s intent when the nation of Israel had her earliest beginnings.  He was no accidental occurrence, but the intent of Israel’s God.

Israel’s religious leaders did not understand.  Their thoughts blinded them to the incredible activity of God in Jesus.  They could not understand that any person could be bigger than Jewish religious tradition, or the Sabbath, or the temple, or sacrifices, or deformity, or sicknesses, or Jewish prophets, or demons, or Satan, or signs, or family.  To them, something was very wrong with anyone who would dare make such claims or display such power.

Yet, even those leaders who discredited Jesus had to explain him.  He was disruptive because he encouraged “unlawfulness.”  He used horrible examples.  He had terrible priorities.  He abused the Jewish prophets.  He got his power from Satan, not God.  He belittled them.  He dared to associate his actions with God’s will.

It is difficult to think in ways that are counter to how we were trained to think.  Religious thought is not different.  If we were trained to think method, it is hard to think substance.  If we were trained to think procedure, it is hard to think intent.  If we were trained to think rote practices, it is hard to think motives.  If we were taught human priorities, it is hard to think divine priorities.

It is difficult to realize that having faith in Jesus is much bigger than dotting the “i’s” or crossing the “t’s” in the correct manner at the correct time on the correct occasion.

Suggestion for reflection: How do you express faith in Jesus?  Why?  (Read Isaiah 1:4-15.)

David's Home Page Previous Day Index Next Day

 Copyright 2011 David Chadwell