When The Rules Become the Ruler
Jesus said He had not come to abolish even the smallest part of God’s Law, but to keep/fulfill it.
The Pharisees said He did not Keep or Teach the Law, but broke it constantly/Sinful!
Pharisees kept the rituals, traditions, & laws of the Jews better than anyone else/They thought themselves righteous!
Jesus said they were not righteous & would not enter God’s kingdom at all.
What the common Jew saw was: Jesus declared the ones who were the MOST careful about keeping the rules & traditions were the most sinful. And Jesus, who seemed to care little for the rules & traditions was being declared as the Messiah, therefore sinless! what???
NOTICE two things Jesus contrasted to the Jews listening to Him:
1. To Keep & Teach the commandments of God is to be the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven
2. To Keep & Teach commandments for godliness is to NOT ENTER the kingdom of heaven. JESUS constantly tried to show the difference between obeying the commands given by God & obeying commands given by men for godliness.
For instance: Matthew 12:1 At that time Jesus went through the grain-fields on the Sabbath, and His disciples became hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat. 2 But when the Pharisees saw this, they said to Him, "Look, Your disciples do what is not lawful to do on a Sabbath." What is the command OF God for the Sabbath? Exodus 20:8 "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. (How?) Exodus 20:10 but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work Leviticus 16:31 "It is to be a sabbath of solemn rest for you, that you may humble your souls
PURPOSE: To be humble & grateful for what God provides for your needs rather than to focus on what your works can provide for your needs.
PATTERN: 3 But He said to them, "Have you not read what David did when he became hungry, he and his companions, 4 how he entered the house of God, and they ate the consecrated bread, which was not lawful for him to eat nor for those with him, but for the priests alone? 5 "Or have you not read in the Law, that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple break the Sabbath and are innocent?
DO BOTH of these examples show the PURPOSE of the Sabbath in being humble & grateful for what GOD HAS PROVIDED rather than depending on your own efforts to meet your needs?
PROBLEM: 6 "But I say to you that something greater than the temple is here. 7 "But if you had known what this means, `I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT A SACRIFICE,' you would not have condemned the innocent.
Why did they condemn the innocent? They changed the PURPOSE of the command, “do no work” into being obedient FOR godliness to show what my OWN EFFORTS can achieve for God! THAT IS WHAT HAPPENS when the Rules become the Ruler
God’s command: Do No Work was to focus our attention on what God does for us/compassion
Pharisee’s command: Do No Work was to focus our attention on what they do for God/sacrifice
CONTINUING in the next verses: 9 Departing from there, He went into their synagogue. 10 And a man was there whose hand was withered. And they questioned Jesus, asking, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?"--so that they might accuse Him. (DO NO WORK so you can show your godliness !) 11 And He said to them, "What man is there among you who has a sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will he not take hold of it and lift it out? (Do no work for yourself, but you can show God by showing compassion for others) 12 "How much more valuable then is a man than a sheep! So then, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath." (PURPOSE: Do no work to provide for yourself, trust that God will provide!) 13 Then He said to the man, "Stretch out your hand!" He stretched it out, and it was rest
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