Blessed… You Broke the Law

At that time Jesus went through the wheat fields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry so they were picking heads of wheat and eating them. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are breaking the Sabbath law.” But he said to them, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and those with him were hungry?  He went into God’s house and broke the law by eating the bread of the presence, which only the priests were allowed to eat. Or haven’t you read in the Law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple treat the Sabbath as any other day and are still innocent?  But I tell you that something greater than the temple is here. If you had known what this means, I want mercy and not sacrificeyou wouldn’t have condemned the innocent. The Human One is Lord of the Sabbath” (Matthew 12:1-8, Common English Bible).

There used to be a set of laws in Texas that were called the “Blue Laws.” Most were repealed several years ago, probably because very few paid much attention to them anyway.

Most of the laws centered around shopping and what you could and couldn’t buy. For example, you could buy baby food (or any other food for that matter), but you couldn’t buy diapers (they were considered clothing and you couldn’t buy clothing). You could buy lumber but you couldn’t buy nails to build your project.

I worked at a grocery store as a teenager. We were open on Sundays but we had to arrange our stock so we could rope off the isles that held things we couldn’t sell. It didn’t stop some of our customers and the cashiers would have to watch the purchases closely.

As I read today’s lesson my mind went back to those customers who would duck under the rope to grab something they “needed.” I also have vivid memories of them trying to convince the cashier to go ahead and sell it to them. Many would get very irate when they couldn’t buy the thing the law prevented the store from selling.

In the lesson, the disciples were hungry and for most of us, when we are hungry we will find something to eat! In the Biblical era, to cook a meal on the Sabbath was to work. Because the disciples were picking grain to eat, that was work too. It didn’t matter if a person was hungry, what mattered was following the law.

As we have already said, most recently yesterday, there was so much to the law that few regular people would remember it all. And, if one were walking through a field and you were hungry, most of us would absentmindedly reach over, pick a little and eat it.

When I was a young child, my grandparents had blackberry vines in their back yard. When the berries were in season and we were at their home, I often found myself in the backyard. More often than not, it was on a Sunday. I was often given a bucket to pick berries to take home (I still love blackberries). As I would pick the berries, which in itself would have violated Hebrew law, I probably ate about as many as made it into my bucket.

I was a kid then and didn’t know anything about a law that prevented that kind of thing. Still, even if I had and was told not to pick the berries, I still might have reached out and picked a few to eat on the spot, without ever thinking about it.

Jesus’ idea here is, treating the Sabbath as special, keeping it holy isn’t a matter of obeying the law, it is a matter of the heart. Further, I think Jesus was more about keeping the Sabbath holy because we want to do so, not because there is an Old Testament law that says we should.

How do you keep the Sabbath (Sunday) Holy?

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy, Peace and Thanksgiving,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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