Every time Jesus breaks commandments, it is for a good reason. He destroys expectations and transforms our faith.
Today his disciples break the Sabbath, and Jesus runs to their defense. He uses it as a time, not to justify their behavior, but to declare scripture as not as black and white as the Pharisees would like. He also goes on to cast the Law in a different light, declaring that “…the Son of man is lord of the Sabbath.”
Then he himself breaks the Sabbath by curing a man with a withered hand. His bold initiatives get him in trouble and help cast the trajectory of the Gospels. Now the Pharisees have some ammunition and “went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him.”
Just as we discover in the Wisdom literature, scripture and “God’s will” is sometimes elusive, and I believe Jesus is making more than just a point about compassion or hunger on the Sabbath, but is making a bold statement about interpretation of Scripture. He is declaring that righteousness and integrity are essential components. Wisdom is subjective and lives in reality. As a result it must bend and flex with the situation, revealing its truth each and every day in new ways.
Here, in these two situations, Jesus had come to the conclusion that “the Law” said something different than what the experts in the Law had decided. He went all the way to the cross for his interpretation of Scripture.
Today’s Matthew passage is a delightful personification of Divine Wisdom, which reveals to us a God who wants us, above all else, to be fed and whole in his sight.
Now all that being said, I want to invite you to the Pastor’s Class on June 3, at 9:30am, in the adult Sunday School room. The topic will be RECOVERING SABBATH, and we will talk about Sabbath practices and how we can experience it afresh in 2018 and in a culture that never seems to stop and rest.