"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest."   Matt. 11:28

"At that time Jesus went on the Sabbath through the grain fields, 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."    Matt. 12:1, 2

The Pharisees were always pointing out and complaining about what Jesus did. They never understood Who He is. In my last article, I pointed out the fact that religion always focuses on doing what is right and avoiding what is wrong. Our religious nature comes from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Therefore, good and evil, or right and wrong are always the center.

We know that this tree will always bring forth death. Living by a code of right and wrong will always bring death. Life can only be found on another tree altogether!

More Sabbath Breakers

In this passage of scripture in Matthew 12, we once again see the religious people reacting to something Jesus did. This time, however, it was not Jesus, but His disciples that broke the Sabbath. This is fascinating. The passage does not tell us that Jesus Himself ever ate any of the grain. It was His disciples who just started picking the grain as they were all walking through the field.

I'm sure that they knew that it was the Sabbath. After all, all of the twelve disciples were good practicing Jews. Yet, here they are, walking through the field, and they begin to pick the grain just because they were hungry. What happened here? Did they completely forget about the Sabbath? No doubt! Something had already begun to change within their hearts and minds. They weren't thinking about religious protocol. They just wanted to be with Jesus! They didn't want to miss out on anything He said or did. They wanted to remain at His side no matter where He went. Food was no longer the primary thing. They ate when they needed to and found food wherever they could at the time. The main thing was to keep following Jesus. Life now revolved around this Person. Rules and regulations, and even eating, didn't really matter much anymore.

Something Greater than the Temple

When the Pharisees confronted Jesus about the Sabbath issue He brought up two incidences from the Old Testament. The first one was how David and his group entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread. The second one was about how the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and yet are innocent. What is interesting about this is the fact that both references that Jesus used were about the temple. But He and His disciples were not in the temple. They were in a field of grain! And then He goes on to make this incredible statement:

"But I say to you, that something greater than the temple is here."

The temple was the center for all Jewish life. It symbolized everything pertaining to Moses, the law, the Sabbath, the feast days, and everything else that God gave to the Jews. And here is this carpenter from Nazareth saying that something greater than the temple was here! Do you see it? He not only broke their Sabbath, He said that something greater had come.

Something greater had come than what they currently had. Something greater had come than all their traditions, and rules and regulations. Something greater had come than their traditional lifestyle. Something greater had come than their "business as usual" religious practices. Something greater had come than the temple. Something greater had come than some building along with all of its religious systems. Something greater had come than going to church!

Buildings or Fields?

Do you see the contrast here? On one hand we see the Pharisees with their Sabbath, their temple, and their religious system. On the other hand, we see Christ and the disciples walking through a field, picking grain and eating it. What a contrast! It's the very same contrast that is among us today. Christ versus the religious system.

The disciples could care less about the Sabbath, or the temple, or any such thing. They had discovered something much greater than the temple. They had discovered Christ. They had discovered Freedom. They were free to break the Sabbath because they were walking with the Real David. They were free to pick the grain because they were in the presence of the Real Temple.

When you are with the Real David inside of the Real Temple then you just do what comes naturally; eat! In God's house, feasting on Christ is the main activity. You are free to eat of Him. Why would you ever want to think about religion again when you have Life? Right and wrong is no longer the issue once you begin eating of the Tree of Life.

The disciples no longer needed to be concerned with keeping a day of rest. The Lord of the Sabbath, the One who is the Sabbath, and the One who is their Rest was walking right beside them and would soon be in them!

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