March 28

Text: Matthew 12:7, 8

"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." (NASB)

Of all the things Jesus Christ could say to us in judgment, ranking in the top five would be this: “You totally failed to understand what God meant.”  When I was a boy, I was certain that everyone who was wrong knew they were wrong.  What a mistake!  Most people who are mistaken are sure they are correct.  In fact, it is quite possible for a person who is terribly mistaken to be completely convinced that he or she is absolutely correct in every detail.  Many say, “There is no way I could be wrong about this!”  And yet, many who believe in Jesus Christ are mistaken about much.

The Pharisees were certain that Jesus sanctioned Sabbath violations.  (1) He did not agree with their conclusions.  (2) He allowed his disciples to do things “that were illegal” on Sabbath days.  His disciples were stripping and eating raw grain—probably eating the ripe heads of raw wheat or barley.

Jesus avoided the old argument of “No, they are not!” as the Pharisees said, “Yes, they are!”  To get Jesus’ full response, read Matthew 12:3-8.  Jesus said three things: (1) Their applications were inconsistent.  They ignored the biblical example of David and the exemption given the priests.  (2) They failed to understand THE MEANING of Hosea 6:6—scripture!  (3) They failed to grasp Jesus’ identity.

 A result: They declared the disciples guilty of spiritual failure when God said they did not spiritually fail.  In our religious words, they saw sin where there was no sin.  They condemned something they did not understand though they were convinced they had God’s complete insight.  That is frightening!

Be assured of this: No one will argue with God in judgment!  It is to God Himself we will give answer (Romans 14:12).  Never will we be as grateful for divine grace as we are in the day of judgment!

Suggestion for reflection: Which is more important—agreement with God or you?  Why?  (Read Isaiah 66:1, 2.)

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