Text: Matthew 12:1-14
Hasty condemnation (vs 2)
- Disciples’ condition – The disciples have been traveling to heal and preach good news for days since they were commissioned in Matthew 10. When the Bible says the disciples are hungry, it means their bodies are weak for lack of nourishment. It’s not that the disciples missed breakfast, they probably haven’t eaten for a few days. The men are very hungry.
- Priests’ charge
- The priests accused the disciples of breaking the sabbath by gathering corn on the sabbath day.
- The law that is sited Exodus 20:8-11.
- Because the self righteous used their interpretation of the law to keep people under their control, they would never come to a true understanding of the law or its purpose.
- Law was a schoolmaster to bring Israel to Christ according to Galatians 3:21-25.
Historical consideration (vss 3-4)
- Jesus reminds the priests of 1 Samuel 21:1-7.
- David was not a priest and had no right to the shewbread in the tabernacle. The bread was the priest’s to eat. David and his men are hungry like the disciples. David and these men have probably not eaten in days. But David didn’t demand food. And no, this has nothing to do with David being a type of a priest and king here. David is never a priest, not even here. Because of David’s circumstance the priests decided to give David and his men bread from the shewbread table because there was nothing else to give them. The bread belonged to the priests, it wasn’t lawful for David to eat the bread, but it was fine for the priests to give the bread to whomever they wanted to because the bread belonged to the priests.
- The priests chose to support David and his men and to do good with what they had.
Hypocrites charged (vss 5-8)
- Then the Lord Jesus Christ says if the Pharisees were so concerned about that sabbath, maybe they’d try to hold that standard among their own. But they won’t of course.
- Consider this glaring hypocrisy that will occur in the crucifixion. John 19:31 The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.
- “But” #1…
- Christ is the focal point of the law and prophets
- Christ is greater than John the Baptist, the greatest man that ever lived in 11:11. Christ is greater than the temple in 12:6. Christ is greater than Jonah in 12:41. Christ is greater than Solomon in 12:42.
- “But” #2…
- Mercy not sacrifice is God’s preference.
- Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
- Lord of the sabbath. See Mark 2:27-28.
Healing charitably (vss 9-13)
- Priests try to corner Jesus again with an emotionally charged, but dumb question in verse 10.
- Sheep analogy
- Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath?
- Mark 3:4-5 gives details that none of them would answer him and Jesus was grieved and angered at their hard hearts.
- Luke 6:10-12 after healing the man the Lord goes into the mountains to pray all night. Some of you who have tried to minister to people know this predicament. After a day of dealing with hard hearted, irrational people who refuse to come to the knowledge of the truth, Jesus is drained and goes somewhere privately to pour his heart out to the Father.