Sabbath · Traditions

Jesus on the Sabbath – Part 6 – A Withering Response

jesus-the-grain-fieldRecently I penned a series of post on the Ten Commandments and as I was writing it, found that the Sabbath day was the only commandment not reapplied  to believers in the New Testament.

In writing that series of posts, I was reminded that the Sabbath day was one of the main irritants between the Lord Jesus and the Pharisees.

Our last post spoke of the hardened heart within the Pharisee, and how accusation was the goal of their question.  How did Jesus respond?

Let’s enter into the passage again.

Sheep or Men

Sheep in a pitMatthew 12:11  He said to them, “Which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out?

Here the Messiah introduces a simple consideration, a real life situation that all sheep owners can relate to.  It is a question that obviously requires an answer in the affirmative.  Of course the Pharisees would lift their own sheep out of the pit.

Is their sheep’s life in danger?

Not likely.

Would lifting a 40 lb sheep be considered work according to the Pharisees?

Slightly obvious answer to that question when you consider that rubbing wheat  together in your hands constitutes “illegal” work.  (How inconsistent!)

Matthew 12:12  Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”

Jesus then brings out the unanswerable response.  If they answered, they would condemn their own doctrine.  Trapped.  (Is He ever good at this logic thing.)

You see, the argument compares the owners of the victim.

Notice that He is also teaching these Pharisees that He is the Creator/Owner of the man with the withered hand, and by extension each of us in our withered lives.  The Pharisee would rescue their property, that is the sheep.  The Messiah is willing to rescue His “property”, that is the man with the withered hand

But the argument also hinges on the value of the victim!

A sheep and a man are of totally different value.  One was a sacrificial animal, supplying food and clothing until it’s death.  The other, the broken and crippled man, Jesus died for.

Of how much more worth is the soul of a man?


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Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

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