Jesus was not the best of friends with the Pharisees and Sadducees.
Many times in the Gospels we see these groups of people trying to find
fault in what Jesus did, because he seemed to take some of their glory
away from them. One of these instances was in Matthew 12.
In Matthew 12 Jesus’ disciples were hungry and they went out into the
grainfields to get heads of grain for themselves to eat. This caused
the Pharisees to go to Jesus and tell Him that His disciples were doing
something that was unlawful to do on the Sabbath. The Pharisees were
some what of traditionalists. They knew the Law as well as we know the
main characters of our favorite tv show. Because of this, they were
trying to find some way to say that Jesus was wrong by His disciples
going against the law.
For the Pharisees it was always about the Law. In this particular
instance they were focused on the Sabbath. For the Pharisees it was all
about a day and a place, the temple and the Sabbath.
The end of Jesus’ response is recorded in verses 6 – 8,
I tell you that something greater than the temple is here. If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”
(Matthew 12:6-8 NIV)
The problem with the Pharisees was not the Law, it was their approach
to it. As previously stated, for them it was all about the Law. So, the
Sabbath to them was a day that was set apart by the Law and it was to
be followed as the Law set forth. Their focus was on the day.
Here is the problem with their approach, it’s not about the day.
Jesus said that He was the Lord of the Sabbath. The Sabbath isn’t about
the day, but about the person who made the day. The Pharisees missed
I believe we are in danger of becoming like the Pharisees and making
it about the day. We are at a place where our evangelism is inviting a
person to our church, which is often time on Sunday. Rather than telling
someone about Jesus, we tell them about our church and how they should
come check our church out. We have become traditionalists in our own
senses, like the Pharisees, where it’s all about Sunday mornings and our
It’s not about the day or place we worship, it’s about the one we worship.