Hunky husband asked me out on a romantic date. I wore my best smelly stuff reserved for time with him, the kind he loves. I put on fancy lipstick from Lancome, made my hair shiny with as much product as it could hold and put on my favorite maroon sweater. We were to meet at an Italian restaurant and I was ready. I counted the minutes and then drove through town, anticipating conversation and laughter, Italian food and great coffee. I walked through the dark restaurant looking for my beloved but he was nowhere in sight. The waiters also helped me look for him. As I sat there, he texted, delayed at a meeting. No worries, there is warm bread on the table and I trust he is on his way. Eventually he came and the waiters were watching for my response. I was delighted he was there and our time was well worth the wait. There is just no one else that would thrill my heart so much to be with. He made time in his busy schedule – for me.
This weekend – we anticipate being with each other and the Lord. Do we prepare? Do we put out our clothes, shoes? Does our heart beat with excitement as we long for what He will speak to us? Do we count the minutes until we gaze into His face? Do we prepare our minds, pushing aside worries and anxiety? What do we do in advance to show our desire for this all important meeting, setting aside all lesser loves?
At that time Jesus went through the grain fields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. 2 But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.” 3 He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, and those who were with him: 4 how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? 5 Or have you not read in the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless?
6 I tell you, something greater than the temple is here.
ESV says “something” but in the Greek it says “estis” – someONE. Who or what could be greater than the temple or the priests (authorities) of that temple? This ONE is greater in rank, authority, prestige – He is the elder and superior one. The ONE higher than all the rules. What Jesus, you think you are above the law? Yup. You think that rules don’t apply to you buddy? Yup. Basically Jesus is stating that He is GOD. Snap! He just outranked the law and legalists. The creator, builder, high priest… He decides what happens.
He is greater than > > > religion and the religious
7 And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, (Greek “eleos”, to be compassionate and show kindness to the miserable and afflicted, helpful)
and not sacrifice,’ (victims, gift) you would not have condemned (judged) the guiltless (innocent). 8 For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”
Who is the son of man? God’s kid, the one given all authority. A prince does not need permission from his friends to redirect the kingdom. That is who Jesus claimed to be which set him at odds with the temple and all who worked there. He declared that He was supreme, the chief, the master, the One who regulated and directed all traffic on the holy day. Many think 3 Chris Tomlin songs, offering, sermon and fellowship in the parking lot is the standard. Who determines that or defines “Sabbath” today?
From this point on – others will market, direct, suggest, legislate and formulate the “day”. Jesus clearly here points out that what happens during that day of rest and renewal – is up to Him. Yikes! Not denominations, not pastors or priests, not parents, not doctrines, not lexicons… how will we understand and know then? Give us a formula so we can avoid asking Him!
The word of God is our guide; the Spirit of God is our teacher, if we listen.
This is a pretty weighty matter for a simple blog but let me direct you to what thrills the heart of God – eleos, mercy. He is delighted to extend it. If you are miserable, you can apply. If you are afflicted, desperate, tormented, weary, you can apply. This Lord loves compassion and bringing help to those who need it. Is that mercy for us, the hurting, neighbors? Yes.
You can buy a Lutheran or Pentecostal guide to Sunday worship, a yoga guide to stretching, a Buddhist guide to mindfulness… all may have some pointers but while you “legislate” the day you will get further from the One who wants to direct traffic- the Lord of the Sabbath. His thing? Mercy. His passion? Mercy. His desire? Mercy. Compassion, kindness and help are part of that. It’s His kryptonite. He’s the Lord of that day – then, now, tomorrow.
You have a date with the KING this weekend … an amazing, loving KING. He is Lord of that time, wait for it ….., celebrate it and keep it FRESH!
JESUS is >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> than just church day.