Luke 6 v 5 Then Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”
It is very important to read this entire passage for it deals with two incidents which illustrate how the people of Jesus’ day, had twisted and perverted the divine law of God to mean something it was never intended to mean.
The first was the matter of picking corn on the Sabbath. It is true that Exodus 20 v 8 – 11 forbids work on the Sabbath. God instructed his people to set one day aside to hear His law and to reflect on it. By the time Jesus came, this simple law intended for the good of the people had been transformed into a harsh legal requirement that far superseded what God required and it was surrounded with all sorts of man-made interpretations and traditions to make this law a burden. For instance how far you could walk, draw water, etc on the Sabbath.
The religions experts accused Jesus and his disciples of breaking this law because they were hungry. Jesus replies to them in 3 ways.
1. Have you never read 1 Samuel 21 where God’s Chosen King, David, was hungry and in danger and he ate the temple bread reserved only for the priests? His hunger was a greater law than reserving the bread.
2. I am God’s King and I and my disciples were hungry. By picking the corn they were serving me.
3. Because I am God’s King I am greater than the Sabbath. I am Lord of the Sabbath. The idea of the Sabbath was to honour me. This my disciples did. Can you not see that?
Now at this point there are two things to note. First, how easy it is for the human heart to embrace religious laws, even if the application of them makes no sense. How many religions out there demand laws, rules, and almost impossible obedience from their devotees. Religion is indeed a hard taskmaster which is why we Christians deny we are “religious” in that hard, cruel and censorious way.
But secondly, for all that let us remember though, because as Christians we do not live in this legalistic manner, that does not mean we should drop our standards. It does not lower them until eventually for some Christians there is no day holy to the Lord.
Remember the law of our Sabbath is Christ himself. Although we are no longer under law do we have a regular day for worship, praise, learning and serving?