What Matters

May 2nd, 2008 • Category: Gospel of Luke
by Tyler Connoley

Today’s Scripture: Luke 6:1-5 (ESV - text and audio) (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Tyler Connoley):

It’s hard for us to understand how shocking this scene and Jesus’ response must have been to the Pharisees. The Sabbath was incredibly sacred to them, and they went to great pains not to do anything that looked like work on the Sabbath. They even counted their footsteps, to make sure they didn’t walk too much on God’s day. Harvesting on the Sabbath, for them, was absolutely forbidden. Yet, here was Jesus, letting his Disciples break the sacredness of the Sabbath for the sake of a few handfuls of grain.

To understand the significance of this event, imagine that Jesus and his disciples were in a Roman Catholic Church today. The Priest comes in to see these street people casually munching on the consecrated Host stored in the Tabernacle box. This is the most holy item in the whole church, so the Priest shouts, “What are you doing? That’s sacred! Stop it!”

And Jesus replies, “Haven’t you read about David, who took sacred bread out of the Temple and ate it and gave it to his friends?” And then he says, “The Son of Man is Lord of bread.” And his disciples keep eating.

The Priest would probably be tempted to shout, “I don’t care what David did, you’re desecrating the Lord’s Supper. Now get out, before I throw you out!” He would probably be shaken and disturbed for days by the memory of these people who cared nothing for God’s laws.

That’s how shocking this passage is. By allowing his disciples to break one of the most sacred laws (it’s one of the Big Ten) in this casual way, Jesus wants us to recognize that human need always trumps biblical rules. Even if a little bit of grain (or a few communion wafers) wouldn’t be enough to fill a hungry man’s belly, a person’s hunger is more important than the thing we believe is most sacred. To the religious Pharisees, it looked like Jesus didn’t care about what was important, but in fact he knew what really mattered.

Thought for the day: Do you really believe that people are more important than religious rules? Think about what religious rules might still stand between you and true love.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

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