But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold,
thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day.
Read Matthew 9:32-34
The Pharisees had made many rules and regulations which were to be observed
alongside the Ten Commandments. Included in these regulations
were thirty-nine prohibitions with respect to Sabbath observance. Attached
to these prohibitions were all kinds of other restrictions. This systematization
of the law was far-fetched. The Pharisees observed all these rules, but
at the same time they were guilty of doing things that were contrary to the
law. They regarded the picking of a few ears of corn by hand as harvesting
and the rubbing of a few kernels in one’s hands as threshing. Therefore they
went to Christ and accused the disciples of breaking the law. Calvin rightly
states that they were actually accusing the Saviour Himself of breaking of
the law, for He saw His disciples picking, threshing and eating grain. He allowed
them to do what, according to the Pharisees, was prohibited.
According to these religious leaders, the Lord Jesus should have warned
His disciples and forbidden them to eat the grain. But the Pharisees hated
Christ and were also intent on trying to find something of which they might
accuse Him, that they might judge Him. They looked carefully at everything
Jesus did, but not so they could be edified, for they had no love for Him and
His mission. This became very apparent in Matthew 9:34, when they accused
Him of casting out devils through the prince of the devils, Beelzebub.
Only when love is present are we able to see things in a proper manner.
Then alone will we also desire to perform God’s will. By nature no one is
willing to obey the law of God. Only by grace, through God’s love, will we be
made willing to fulfill His commandments.
Thought: When true love to the Lord is absent, we lack everything.
Psalter 323:1,4 (based on Psalm 119)
Thy servant, blessed by Thee, shall live And keep Thy word with awe;
Lord open Thou my eyes to see, The wonders of Thy law.
I on Thy statutes meditate, Tho’ evil men deride;
Thy faithful word is my delight, My counselor and guide.