When are we able to set aside provisions of the law? Do we have the right to do so?
Mark 2:23-28 23 Jesus went through the wheat fields on the Sabbath. As the disciples made their way, they were picking the heads of wheat. 24 The Pharisees said to Jesus, “Look! Why are they breaking the Sabbath law?” 25 He said to them, “Haven’t you ever read what David did when he was in need, when he and those with him were hungry? 26 During the time when Abiathar was high priest, David went into God’s house and ate the bread of the presence, which only the priests were allowed to eat. He also gave bread to those who were with him.” 27 Then he said, “The Sabbath was created for humans; humans weren’t created for the Sabbath. 28 This is why the Human One[a] is Lord even over the Sabbath.” (CEB)
[Scripture taken from the Common English Bible®, CEB® Copyright © 2010, 2011 by Common English Bible.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.]
[Image: “Creative Commons Riding on the Sabbath elevator” by Betsy Devine is licensed under CC BY 2.0]
Mark 2:23-28 on Sabbath-keeping
Uh oh! Now they’ve done it. Yeshua’s disciples have reaped grain on the sabbath to feed themselves. How dare they violate the sabbath in that manner? Of course there was precedent — David and his companions went to the temple on the sabbath and ate the bread of the Presence. So, what is at stake here? Does human need take trump the law; or is it the reverse. Actually, the answer is more complex. The Human Being (‘son of the man’) — that is, the part of Yeshua (or the disciples or you or me) that is truly in touch with God — is the only arbiter that can make that decision. The sabbath law (and other laws as well) is there because most often most of us are not enough in touch with the inner God-impulse to make such a radical decision. Therefore, we follow the law. The Human Being in Yeshua discerned that.
The remarkable part of this story in Mark is that it is the disciples who have chosen to pick and eat the wheat on the sabbath. They have begun to assume the role that Yeshua* is leading them into — namely, the Human Being. Yeshua had gone through the field of wheat. The disciples, on the other hand, were making their way through bu plucking and eating. They, not Yeshua* were violating the strict interpretation of the sabbath law. That which Yeshua* was (and was becoming) we are invited to become.