Luke 6:1-11

Read it

While verses 4 and 9 contain Jesus’ two arguements against the Pharisees, I think that the key verse in this passage is 5: “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath”. Indeed, he is lord of every part of the Old Testament and, in fact, everything. It all point to him, and in the light of his death and resurrection, everything changes for a believer in God. So, while I’m not sure what I think about Sabbaths, I know that observing them or not isn’t a primary issue. (That’s UCCF jargon for something that is absolutely fundamental to our faith.) However, Jesus doesn’t overthrow the idea of having a day ‘off’, so it’s worth some consideration.

In verse 4, Jesus is supporting David for having taken bread that only the priests were allowed to eat. I think his point is that common sense must prevail – a spirit verses letter of the law approach. When I actually think about it, though, I find that I’m surprised Jesus condoned what David did. I’ve been developing a theory recently (which is probably a dangerous thing) that the ends justify the means is entirely un-Christian. My ultimate end should be God’s glory, and that is brought about by me submitting to him and not sinning. So while it might seem that lying is justified to save a life – for example – who am I to say that that person’s death will not be more valuable to the Gospel? Colossians 3:9 says that Christians should not lie, because lying belongs to our old self that died with Christ, so lying is completely alien to our character now. I’ve been thinking that we should always be blameless (or at least intend to be) and trust that God knows what he’s doing and doesn’t need us to step in when he’s made a mistake and didn’t actually mean what he’s said. But that doesn’t seem to be the message here. Is it because the sacrificial system was only ever designed to point to Christ, while lying is an ultimate right/wrong issue? I don’t understand. I’m going to keep thinking about it and ask some wiser people than me. If I get anywhere, I’ll put it as a comment on this post.

Verse 9 shows that we should do good on the Sabbath even if it means work. That just opens up a brand new can of worms! This is something I’m not going to resolve in my head tonight, so I’ll keep thinking about it for a while, but always trying to trust God that if I follow his loving instruction things will work out well. He doesn’t set us rules that are bad for us. Ever.

Heavenly Father, thankyou that you know what is best for us, and you desire for us to have fulfilled lives in you. Help me as I think more about how I should be treating the offer you give of a day off a week, to grow closer to you. Amen

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