Question # 13 Matthew 12:11
“Which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into a pit on the sabbath, would not take hold of it and lift it out?”
Ironically, we live in a society where humans love animals. We have made many animals domestic, we now lodge all sorts of animals in our homes, cats, dogs, ferrets, chickens, lizards, snakes, we even make a spider a pet, hamsters, and rodents on down to birds.. I think it’s amazing how we have befriended the other orientation of flesh…It’s really simple and easy, we just go to the animal shelter and we pick out the one we think is cutest, we go to the transaction counter and we make the purchase, we take that animal home and we nourish it as if it were our own child, making an extra expense in our budget to care for it, for doctors visits and the like. God forbid that animal were to get sick, we would call off work, oh we would be sick, we would sympathize with it so much and even pay hundreds of dollars for it to have a surgery so it could have a better quality of life. There is nothing wrong with any of this by the way….. Put in the proper perspective.
This is exactly what Jesus was addressing at this time. The context of the verse is that He and His disciples have just come from the grainfield and they were hungry, so He allowed them to pick heads of grain and the Pharisees were not very happy about that.. It was the compassionate thing to do. If you see someone hungry, and there is food near, whether it’s sabbath or not, don’t they need to eat?
I had been ready to deliver this message since yesterday and did not get around to doing so.. But I feel as if it stewed more in my soul as I anticipated it posting it for your reading.. Jesus is now in the Synagogue and these same Pharisees find another man, this one is not hungry, he’s sick, he has a withered hand. Can you imagine this, the man could not work, he is an invalid, he can’t support a family, if you ever loss use of your hand you would know what I mean, any one of them, for any given time would be a significant loss.. But the Pharisees without compassion at all began to try and find a way to test Jesus through his situation and Jesus was still compassionate, proving a point..
“I desire mercy and not sacrifice”
In other words, yes you are here in the temple, your in the right place and you’ve sacrificed a lot to study the scriptures and devote yourself to this work, but you have forgotten the main thing, you are like the people who stand before me and tell me about all the works they have done and I say, depart from me you workers of iniquity I never knew you. Literally, what He is saying is: The thing I would tend to do… the thing I would want you to do is not offer me all these sacrifices having no love for the person standing next to you crying out for help thinking your doing me a favor, I would like you to feel some form of compassion rather and help that person for in this there is reward..
“Love your neighbor as yourself” this is the second greatest command!