MATTHEW 12:1-8 GOSPEL READING AND REFLECTION ( JULY 17, 2020)
It happened that Jesus was walking through the wheat fields on s Sabbath. His disciples were hungry; and they began to pick some heads of wheat,, to crush and to eat the grain. When the Pharisees noticed this, they said to Jesus, “Look at your disciples! They are doing what is prohibited on the Sabbath!”
Jesus answered, “Have you not read what David did, when he and his men were hungry? He went into the house of God, and they ate the bread offered to God, though neither he nor his men had the right to eat it, but only the priests. And have you not read in the law, how, on the Sabbath, the priest in the Temple desecrated the Sabbath, yet they are not guilty? I tell you, there is greater than the temple here. If you really knew the meaning of the words; it is mercy I want, not sacrifice, you would not have condemned the innocent. Besides, the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”
POINTS OF REFLECTION
Many of us would likely jump into partial judgment pointing to violations of the rules which serve the best interest of the group, community or a society as a whole. Specific laws must conform to the bigger laws, if not; a mere violation of these laws cannot be considered as violation. In other words, there are times that we need to ask the outlaws before subjecting them into our impartialities. It is even better to know their lives and if possible enter into their shoes to fully grasp their points and be able to re-evaluate our stance, who knows while there seems a violation of smaller laws appears to be, a disguise of their obedience to the Bigger laws. A vendor for example, may violate city ordinance but opted to earn for food to feed their hungry stomach. Looking deeper, there is indeed a sense of inconsistencies between the technical understanding and practical understanding in the application of laws most especially in the hands of the implementers.
In this Bible reading, the Pharisees accused Jesus’ disciples of picking wheat grain as a remedy of their hunger. While it is true that doing some work on the Sabbath day is a violation, what the disciples were doing was in compliance with the law which states that at all times “There is a need to feed the hungry.” It is very clear that simple violation of the Sabbath law was in turn an obedience to the bigger law which by common sense and practical understanding cannot be considered a violation.
In totality, this Bible reading reminded us that man’s rights emanating from the universal laws should dwell on practical understanding rather than on technically absurd understanding for the interest of the few.