[“Opposition Inside and Out”]
|| Mark 2:23-28; Luke 6:1-5
MT12:1 During that period Jesus was moving through the grain fields on the Sabbath. Now his disciples were hungry and began to pluck heads of grain and eat them. MT12:2 But, the Pharisees observed this and said to Jesus, “Look! Your disciples are doing what is not permitted during the Sabbath!” MT12:3 Then Jesus said to them, “Did you not read what David, and those with him, did when he got hungry? MT12:4 How he entered into the House of the God and they ate the loaves of presentation – which he was not authorized to eat, nor those with him, but only the priests? MT12:5 Or, did you not read in the Law regarding Sabbaths that the temple priests profane the Sabbath and remain innocent? MT12:6 But, I tell you: you have something greater than the temple here. MT12:7 You would not have condemned the innocent if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ [Hosea 6:6, 7] MT12:8 For the Son of Humankind is Master of the Sabbath.”
 Sabbath: Literally “sabbaths.” The subject of the Sabbath was a serious conflict with the Jewish clergy. The word occurs 46 times in the Gospels (Matthew, 11; Mark, 11; Luke, 13; John, 11). Two thousand years later it is still an issue even among Christians.
 Hungry: Imagine hunger only satisfied by hard grains of wheat or kernels of corn?
 Not permitted during the Sabbath: The Law permitted plucking grain (Deuteronomy 23:25). The Jewish version of Sabbath law during the Nazarene’s life was very detailed. There were 39 rules which identified work on the Sabbath, including “reaping.” Later, Maimonides ruled: “To pluck ears is a kind of reaping.”
 Did you not read: Compare 1 Samuel 21:1-6.
 The House of the God: There are several terms for the Tabernacle of Moses: House, Sanctuary, and Temple. On the later there are two Greek words used: HIERON which generally means the Temple complex; and, NAOS which refers to the shrine or tabernacle proper with its two sacred rooms, the Holy and the Most Holy.
 They ate the loaves of presentation: No normal bread was available and the high priest offered the twelve ringed loaves on the table of showbread in the Tabernacle. His only requirement is that only those men who had “kept themselves from women.” David assured the priest they “certainly clean today.” (1 Samuel 21:1-6 NJB) For this kindness 85 priests were slaughtered.
 Temple priests profane the Sabbath: That is, the priests perform working functions involved in worship forbidden regular Israelites. The word “profane” is also rendered: KNX: violate; MOF: desecrate; PME: break.
 Innocent: Or, KJV: blameless; MOF: not guilty.
 Something greater than the temple here: Jesus alludes to himself as the future High Priest as well as his disciples as ‘temple foundation stones.’ (John 2:19; Hebrews 8:1; Ephesians 2:19-22; 1 Peter 2:5) Compare Luke 11:31, 32 for similar language.
 The innocent: Surely he means himself and perhaps – like David’s “mighty men” – his own disciples.
 This means: The Nazarene quotes Hosea 6:7 from the LXX (where it is 6:6).
 Mercy: The Greek is ELEOS and is usually translated mercy, compassion, pity. The problem with the English “mercy” is that it has under gone an evolution so that today it carries the idea of justice: condemnation or judgment withheld. The root of “mercy” is a word from the marketplace (mercado) and is related to that payment to mercenaries. Merci means “thanks.” Kind charity is closer to the idea. So, the verse intends to mean: “I wish charity over (religious) sacrifices.” The quote of Hosea 6:7 is from the Jewish Greek Septuagint (LXX). The Hebrew text reads checed and is rooted in kindness. If one made all the religious sacrifices his worship demanded and failed to be kind or charitable, God’s will is missed.
 Master of the Sabbath: There are various opinions. One meaning may be: as Master of the sabbath day, Jesus as Son of Man will determine what is good or bad on the sabbath; or, he will use the sabbath as he determines. Some read the phrase “son of man” to mean “human” so that human needs will determine what is good or bad on the sabbath. Some hold a futurist view: the Messiah is King of that future great Sabbath under his rule – the Thousand Years.
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