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I want Compassion!

Matthew 12:1-8

One Shabbat during that time, Yeshua was walking through some wheat fields. His talmidim (disciples/students) were hungry, so they began picking heads of grain and eating them. 2 On seeing this, the P’rushim (Pharisees) said to him, “Look! Your talmidim are violating Shabbat!” 3 But he said to them, “Haven’t you ever read what David did when he and those with him were hungry? 4 He entered the House of God and ate the Bread of the Presence!” — which was prohibited, both to him and to his companions; it is permitted only to the cohanim (priests). 5 “Or haven’t you read in the Torah that on Shabbat the cohanim profane Shabbat and yet are blameless? 6 I tell you, there is in this place something greater than the Temple! 7 If you knew what ‘I want compassion rather than animal-sacrifice’ meant, you would not condemn the innocent. 8 For the Son of Man is Lord of Shabbat!”

Once again the Pharisees, religious leaders, of the day were trying to corner Jesus. They were trying to find a way to prove that He was breaking the "law." The Pharisees were doing all they could to make Jesus look like He was not Torah observant.

It is important to understand (and I have said this several times along the way already) that Jesus DID NOT violate Torah. There is a book called, "He Loved the Torah" that explains this in depth. When Jesus allowed His disciples to "pick grain" on the Sabbath, it did not violate what Torah teaches.

Over the years, religious leaders of the day were afraid that they "might accidentally" break the commands of God. What did God really mean when He said, "Don't work on the Sabbath?" What does it mean to "stop your creative work?" These were all questions that leaders were trying to answer, and along the way "man's interpretation" got in the way.

Let's just say, once man's interpretation started, it didn't stop. "Fences" were put up to "protect," but these fences actually destroyed. Instead of making the commands of God easy to follow, they made them more difficult. "Laws" were put into place to the point that today, some people will not tear a piece of toilet paper on Shabbat because it is "work." Some people will not pick up a pen/pencil on Shabbat because it causes them to be "creative." Some people won't push a button for an elevator (hence the Shabbat elevator in Israel) on Shabbat because it "sparks electricity" which is work - or "lighting a fire." If the elevator is already running it is okay (a fire that is already going is fine...).

I believe that along the way, just as Jesus taught, people have missed the mark and have lost compassion. The bolded words above are Jesus speaking from Hosea 6:6

For what I desire is mercy, not sacrifices,

knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

It isn't that God is "doing away with burnt offerings." His desire is that people acknowledge what is required and do it to the best of their ability. He doesn't want people to make up crazy laws and rules that keep people in bondage and then condemn the people for trying.

"I tell you, there is in this place something greater than the Temple!" I love these words from verse 6. Jesus was speaking of Himself. HE is greater than the Temple! The Temple was destroyed and our hearts became the Temples of the Living God. There is so much to wrap our heads around in these Words He spoke!

God knows the heart. He is LORD of the Sabbath. HE brings peace and comfort, not strife. If we are LISTENING to His heart, we will find REST for our soul. There will be turmoil along the way, but in the midst of it we will KNOW that He is with us and HE will take care of us.

Love and blessings,


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