The Evangelical Universalist Forum

The disciples picking grain on the sabbath

May be Christ is re-emphasising a point the Pharisees totally overlooked.That point being those working directly for God with in the temple were exempt from breaking the sabbath, even though it could be considered they did, all the while being blameless.The priests were working for the good of Gods people may have always been above the sabbath law without any one really realising this.This being the very reason Christ who was greater than the temple had no problem, doing his fathers work on the sabbaths for the good of his people. As David and those with him were not held guilty for eating the show bread because of genuine need and hunger. So also Christ the son of David allowed those with him to gather ears of corn and [prepare] them by rubbing/ grinding them in their hands, so that there need of hunger was met. Therefore the need is greater than the Law, mercy is better than sacrifice.The sabbath was made for the good of man, the moment it becomes a detriment to man, it loses its value. May be mankind’s genuine needs and help was always meant to cancel the sabbaths binding effect. May be this is the point Christ was trying to drive home.

Yes, my perception is the Jesus could urge us to scorn the law when it made no constructive sense, such as he did when reasoning that it was foolish to accept the laws that unclean foods could make you impure, since real immorality plainly proceeded inside out from one’s heart.

Yes under the law there were ritual laws and moral laws and laws about food and even the Sabbath were ritual laws that ended with Christ’s death IMO.

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Except that the law itself and Jews recognized no distinction between ‘ritual’ laws and moral laws. Every law is seen as moral and reflecting God’s holiness. Plus Jesus challenged them being binding or sensible even without his having died.

I’m not sure about your statement “without his having died” as my understanding was that his ministry was a transition into the New Covenant and Jesus looking forward to this New Covenant initiated by his upcoming death by introducing certain aspects such as the distinction between ritual and moral laws for the first time.

Yes, I was raised with that conjecture too, but I see no evidence in the Gospels that this is the reasoning for his objection to ritual laws of cleanness, etc as contradicting moral sense. No distinction of laws is made, with some being moral, and others not.

Instead it portrays Jesus as coming to reform Israel by calling it to repent and embrace the interpretation of Abba’s ways that he taught. And it never explains his violations of the law as justified by his death, but as I spelled out on the food laws, as simply never having made any rational sense.

Well I think Jesus left us to deduce certain conclusions based on his actions so I think the laws he “violated” were all ritual laws that had a purpose within the Jewish age but outlived their usefulness with the New Covenant. Perhaps the ritual laws were to teach obedience among other reasons but I don’t think Jesus violated any moral laws because that would be a sin and Jesus was sinless.

I accept Jesus’ explanation that innately such purity laws always were foolish guides to right action.