"But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people..."
Text: 1 Peter 2:9a
IMPLICATIONS OF THE ACCUSATION OF BREAKING THE LAW
The Pharisees charged that the disciples were doing that which was “not lawful on the Sabbath”. This accusation had serious implications. Two may be highlighted:-
1. If the disciples had indeed broken the law
They would not be the only ones who were to be held responsible. Their failure to keep the Law would reflect on Jesus. He would be charged with abetting His disciples in the sin of breaking of the law.
2. If the Pharisees could make this charge stick
Then they would have succeeded in their claim that their traditions were on par with the Mosaic Law. If they could prove their case, their traditions would have to be held with as much esteem as the original law given by God Himself at Mt. Sinai.
AN ASTONISHING ANSWER
The answer that Jesus gave must have astonished even the most astute among the Pharisees.
“But He said to them, ‘Have you never read what David did
when he was in need and hungry, he and those with him; how
he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high
priest; and ate the showbread, which is not lawful to eat except
for the priests, and also gave to those who were with him?'”
1. The issue of what is lawful
a) The Pharisees insisted that the disciples did that which was not lawful.
b) The point of what was lawful was the bone of contention at this juncture.
2. Citing the case of David and his men
a) There is no question that what David and his men did, was unlawful.
b) Yet, there was no reprimand from Abiathar the high priest.
c) There was tacit approval from the high priest.
3. “Have you never read…?”
This was an embarrassing thing to say to the Pharisees who prided themselves in their knowledge and their keeping of the Scriptures! Why did they conveniently not mention that David was guilty of doing that which was unlawful? Why were they finding fault with the disciples of Jesus over a small matter of eating a few heads of grain?