One sabbath he was going through the grainfields; and as they made their way his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the sabbath?” And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need of food? He entered the house of God, when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and he gave some to his companions.” Then he said to them, “The sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the sabbath; so the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.” In this story it seems like Jesus is practicing situational ethics - that is, if the situation requires you to break or bend the law, then it is okay to do it - but it isn’t quite what he is doing. As we have reflected upon this before (see January 22 - When You Are Hungry), I’d like to reflect upon something else that is related to this passage: Jesus’ habit of constantly breaking the rules of the Sabbath. There are nine separate instances recorded of Jesus doing something on a day when it was forbidden to do anything. Why? Most of these instances involve healing or deliverance. In Luke 4:31-39 (also Mark 1:21-31), Jesus heals a demoniac in Capernaum and also Simon’s mother-in-law. In Luke 13:10-17 he heals a woman who had been crippled for eighteen years. In Matthew 12:9-14 (also Mark 3:1-6 and Luke 6:6-11), Jesus heals a man with a withered hand. This takes place in a synagogue of all places. In John 5:1-30, Jesus heals a paralytic by the pool of Bethesda. In John 9:13-17, Jesus heals a man who was blind from birth. So, why was Jesus doing all this on the Sabbath? We get the answers from Jesus himself. After healing the paralyzed man in Bethesda, Jesus said, “My Father is still working, and I also am working” (John 5:17). In doing these things, Jesus was basically saying he was God. And God doesn’t have days off. As the song goes, “He never sleeps; he never slumbers.” But he wants US to take a day off to recharge our batteries, especially our spiritual batteries, which we can do by spending time with him. Also, on several occasions, Jesus declares he "is lord of the sabbath” (Matthew 12:8), a declaration that essentially means he is lord of everything. Consequently, he also preaches on the Sabbath, which Mark tells us is with authority that is greater than the scribes (see Mark 1:22). He then backs up his words by deeds of great power. He delivers a man with an unclean spirit showing all watching that his authority had a divine origin, and wasn’t out of human power. What can we take home from all of this? There’s a saying: We miss the forest for the trees. Which means that we sometimes fail the see the bigger, better picture, because we are focussed only on certain aspects of it. God is still working great things today, through the most unlikely people, but because we are fixated on how we believe things should be, we are missing out of all of it. Let us not be like the Pharisees, and open ourselves to the wonderful things taking place in our midst. And, oh yeah, there’s one more thing to take away. Rest. The Sabbath was created for us.