What is lawful?

Luke 6:1-11

On a Sabbath, while he was going through the grainfields, his disciples plucked and ate some heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands. But some of the Pharisees said, “Why are you doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath?” And Jesus answered them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and took and ate the bread of the Presence, which is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those with him?” And he said to them, “The Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”

 On another Sabbath, he entered the synagogue and was teaching, and a man was there whose right hand was withered. And the scribes and the Pharisees watched him, to see whether he would heal on the Sabbath, so that they might find a reason to accuse him.  But he knew their thoughts, and he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come and stand here.” And he rose and stood there. And Jesus said to them, “I ask you, is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to destroy it?” And after looking around at them all he said to him, “Stretch out your hand.” And he did so, and his hand was restored.  But they were filled with fury and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus.

 There is a difference between harvesting and eating what is needed to remain healthy and strong.  There is a difference between eating enough of the consecrated bread to keep strength and moving into the temple to occupy it.  Jesus asked the question: is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to destroy it?  It might be said the harvesting could lead to greed; it might also be said the taking of more than was needed in the place of worship would also be greed or disrespect.  Attitude then is what is being addressed.  The watchful eye of the Pharisee had become oppressive and manipulative. 

 Take away –  We exercise care in the making of rules and enforcing them.  Are the restrictions serving a purpose of protection or oppression?  Are the restrictions in line with the commands of God and His nature?  Do we have the right to judge another?  Are we doing good or harm in the keeping of laws, the making of laws, the judging of laws?  How does this relate to our daily lives, everyday living?  How does this affect our interactions with others?  Attitude says a lot; do we move in respect looking out for the good of others or are we moving in disrespect and oppression similar in nature to bullying?  Take care how we judge, take care how we try to manipulate others, take care to be living with an attitude of love and concern for others.

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