October 22, 2021 – Mark 2: 23-28 – Heart of the Matter

Today we are reading from Mark 2: 23-28:

23 One sabbath he was going through the grainfields; and as they made their way his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. 24 The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the sabbath?” 25 And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need of food? 26 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.” 27 Then he said to them, “The sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the sabbath; 28 so the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.”

Today we see Jesus continuing to talk to the religious leaders.  Yesterday they talked about fasting and how Jesus reminds them that the work of fasting is not external, for others to see, it is internal, for grace to change. We do not engage in righteousness for other sake, but for the grace of God within our hearts. 

Today we see Jesus dealing with many of the same people, this time concerning the Sabbath. The religious leaders had distilled the Law down to, not the intent of heart, but rather a list, it had become a todo list. This is what you do, this is what you don’t do.  

Instead of being a path of how we could better love God and love our neighbor, the law becomes what we better do and what we better not do. Jesus is telling them today, you are missing the point. It is not about the action that one takes, it is about the heart that one has for God and for others.  

The Sabbath was not given to us as a todo list.  It was given so that we can rest. We can “re”create. We can focus on God. We can allow our souls to breathe. We can focus on what is good and beautiful.  

In our world where our worth is found in what we produce, the Sabbath says you produced nothing today. And you still have worth and value. The Sabbath reminds us that God is the arbiter of what is good in the world. As the Father rested on the seventh day, so should we. 

Our souls need it.  The Sabbath is not about whether to pick grain or not. It is about resting our souls in God’s goodness.  

When we focus on the man-made todo lists, we miss the heart of the matter. The goodness and salvation of God. That’s what matters. That’s what counts. That’s what we are about.  

Let’s focus on the heart of the matter, the grace of God, and our walk with Him, not the things that “feel” important, but aren’t.  Let’s find our Sabbath day rest in Jesus.  

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