Home Sermon Matthew 12:1-8; Jesus vs. The Religious Leaders
Matthew 12:1-8; Jesus vs. The Religious Leaders PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 16 January 2015 07:38

Welcome to our church's home page.  If it is your first time visiting or you frequently visit our site, we appreciate you sharing your time with us.  If you are looking for more information about the church, we invite you to visit the various articles within this site.  We hope they will answer your questions about Stone Gate Bible Fellowship. Our Sunday Worship service starts at 10:30 am and finishes before 12:00 pm. We are located at 904 Rancheros Drive, San Marcos, CA, Suite M. What you will find below is an overview of the Scriptural portion of the message given on December 28, 2014.


There will always be critics. There will always be those who will judge our actions, and, based on the critic's value system, condemn Christianity. Our fear of criticism becomes especially problematic when our hearts desire is for others to be saved and for them to be saved we believe that others must like us. The nature tendency is to change our theology (what we understand to be true about God) to that which is most popular and accepted. The problem with that is that what is most popular is most likely in opposition to what God says is right or true.


We are called to not compromise the truth. In theory, this is simple, but not easy. Fortunately we have a good example in Jesus Himself. In Matthew 12 we find critics of Jesus' disciples and in criticizing Jesus' disciples, the critics were attempting to criticize Jesus. The beauty of this passage is that we can learn two things. The first is how should we respond to the critics of Christ and secondly we see more of Who Jesus is.  


The accusation:

Matthew 12:1-2  NAU Matthew 12:1 At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath, and His disciples became hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat.  2 But when the Pharisees saw this, they said to Him, "Look, Your disciples do what is not lawful to do on a Sabbath." 


Holding to all of the rules that were associated with the Sabbath was very important to the Pharisees. Not only did it define their relationship with God, but it was one of the characteristics that defined as a nation or people.


From the perspective of the Pharisees, while eating was not a violation of the Sabbath law, work that it took to pick the grain and then get the grain out of the husks was believed to be a violation of the Sabbath laws.


The response - Pharisees, your understanding of the law is flawed - David's authority

3 But He said to them, "Have you not read what David did when he became hungry, he and his companions,  4 how he entered the house of God, and they ate the consecrated bread, which was not lawful for him to eat nor for those with him, but for the priests alone? 


In Jesus' response to the Pharisees, He focuses on the question of authority. Jesus begins by pointing out that David did what was only lawful for the priests to do. His point was that there were people in Israel's history who had the authority to do that which for others was not permissible. (see 1 Samuel 21:1-6; Lev. 24:9)


Response #2 - Pharisees, your understanding of the law is flawed - The priests had authority to break the law.

5 "Or have you not read in the Law, that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple break the Sabbath and are innocent? 6 "But I say to you that something greater than the temple is here. 


Here Jesus identifies a second example where there were those who had the right to "break" the Sabbath laws. This group of individuals were the priests. "In preparation for the sacrifices the priests would have to do what would be considered breaking the Sabbath by anyone else. So the "law" did not apply to them in the same way.  "It is  a matter of priorities, the authority of the office and the necessity of the service overriding the Sabbath rules which for other people and other purposes remain inviolable. ..." France


Response #3 - Pharisees, your understanding of the law is flawed - the intent of the law: compassion and not sacrifice

7 "But if you had known what this means, 'I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT A SACRIFICE,' you would not have condemned the innocent. 


What is most important to God is compassion and not religious rule keeping. The Pharisees where condemning the disciples, who were going into the fields to find food on the Sabbath because they were hungry. If they had the same values that God wanted them to have, out of compassion for those who were hungry, they would not have condemned them.


This gives us insight into the heart of God. 


Response #4 - Pharisees, your understanding of the law is flawed - you don't know who you are talking to - Jesus has authority over the Law.  How and when ....


8 "For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath." 


There is no one of higher authority on earth than Christ. The Pharisees did not have more authority. Jesus is saying that He is the One who is the determiner of the laws concerning the Sabbath and to whom and when they should be applied.


Some things that we can learn from this passage:


Jesus stood His ground at the expense of being liked. And in doing that He communicated some foundational truths.


To begin with, in Jesus' response to the Pharisees, He expressed that their use of the Law was inconsistent and therefore incorrect.


Secondly, the Pharisees misunderstood the heart of God.


Thirdly, Jesus showed that the heart of compassion is what God wants and not religious legalism.


Lastly, Jesus is above the temple and He defines what is right and wrong. He determines the meaning and application of the law.  


How do we apply these things?

We must not let our fear of criticism or rejection determine our theology. It is a proper understanding of His Word and His Word alone that should drive our theology. While this is conceptually simple, it is not at times easy.


We need to guard our hearts from legalism which is a focus on keeping a set of rules to validate or justify ourselves before God. It is only the finished work of Christ that saves us.


Lastly we need to focus on Christ. Our obedience does not save us. Our obedience is a reflection of our love for Him and that we are saved.


"Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE (R), Copyright (c) 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by the Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. www.Lockman.org"

Last Updated on Monday, 26 January 2015 11:51

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Email Address: pstrito@stonegatebible.org


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