Sunday, June 3, 2018

Mark 2:23-3:6

2:23 Jesus and his apprentices were moving through some wheat fields on a Sabbath day. As they were walking along they plucked some heads of wheat to snack on.

24 The Pharisees said to Jesus, “Look at that! How is it that your apprentices are violating the Sabbath rules?”

25 Jesus responded by challenging the Pharisaical understanding of the rules and their nature. He asked the Pharisees, “Haven’t you studied scholars ever read in 1 Samuel 21:1-7 about what David (who would become the greatest king in Israel) did when he and his men were hungry? 26 During the era of Abiathar the high priest, David entered God’s house -- the Tabernacle. He then ate some of the holy bread kept there -- in spite of the rules which clearly state that only the priests are allowed to consume sacred bread. Furthermore, David gave some of the special bread to his companions.”

27 Jesus then interpreted the story as explaining how rules function in God’s eyes -- “The Sabbath, and by association, the rules defining Sabbath day activity, were created for the benefit of humans; humans weren’t created to benefit the Sabbath. 28 Likewise the Uber Man isn’t subservient to the Sabbath and Sabbath rules. Rather he is Lord over both the holy day and the rules defining it.”

3:1 After that, Jesus returned to the meeting center, where he met a man with a deformed hand. 2 Now, that whole encounter was a setup because the Pharisees were looking for an opportunity to charge Jesus with some rule violation. Specifically, they were keeping a close eye on him to see if he’d do some healing on the Sabbath.

3 Jesus had the man with the deformed hand step up in front of the crowd -- just to make sure that everyone could see what was about to happen. 4 Then he asked the crowd -- and specifically the religious leaders -- “Which are lawful Sabbath activities -- to do something good or to do something evil? -- to save a life or to plot murder?”

No one said a thing. 5 And as Jesus looked around at them he was both angry and deeply saddened by the hardness of their hearts in regard to the man’s situation. So he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.”

The disabled man did as he was told and suddenly his hand was restored to mint condition.

6 With steam venting from their ears, the Pharisees made a hasty exit and began colluding with their arch-enemies, the supporters of King Herod, to take down Jesus.