Scripture to Memorize: Matthew 12:8
For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.
Day 1 Read: Matthew 12:1-6
At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. 2 But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.” 3 He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, and those who were with him: 4 how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? 5 Or have you not read in the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless? 6 I tell you, something greater than the temple is here.
Reflect: When you were growing up, what traditions did your family observe? Which ones have you kept? Which ones did you like the best?
Consider: In first-century Judaism rest meant, above all, observing the Sabbath—ceasing from all work on Saturday, the seventh day of the week. Sabbath observance was in fact one of the three most important and distinctive badges of Jewish life, along with circumcision and the dietary laws. If coming to Jesus provided rest for the whole of life, then it is not surprising that he should come into conflict with regulations that prevented various kinds of work on one specific day out of seven. At the very least, Jesus shows that he feels free to disregard the oral laws that had grown up around the Sabbath.1
Respond: What traditions in church have you observed and kept through the years? How do these help your walk with Christ? Are there any that could be considered a hindrance now?
1 Craig Blomberg, Matthew, vol. 22, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1992), 195–196.