DOCTRINE, DOGMA, OR JESUS?

MUSINGS – September 26 2018

DOCTRINE, DOGMA, OR JESUS?

Mark 2:23-28
Once on a day of worship Jesus was going through the grainfields. As the disciples walked along, they began to pick the heads of grain. The Pharisees asked him, “Look! Why are your disciples doing something that is not permitted on the day of worship?” Jesus asked them, “Haven’t you ever read what David did when he and his men were in need and were hungry? Haven’t you ever read how he went into the house of God when Abiathar was chief priest and ate the bread of the presence? He had no right to eat those loaves. Only the priests have that right. Haven’t you ever read how he also gave some of it to his men?” Then he added, “The day of worship was made for people, not people for the day of worship. For this reason the Son of Man has authority over the day of worship.”

Well, the disciples have done it again. They’ve upset the religious authorities once more. They were working on the Sabbath, they began to pick the heads of grain. This probably seems to be a trivial matter to most of us in our culture. However, it was a capital offense in the Old Testament. You could be killed for working, or even walking more than 0.596 miles on the Sabbath day.

At the time of this story, the Roman conquers of Israel would not let the Jewish authorities enforce the death penalty. But that didn’t make it any less of an offense to the Jewish leaders.

Jesus remind them that the Sabbath was made for man. That is, the Sabbath is a gift from God for the work done on the other side of days off the week. It was meant as a blessing but the overly strict interpretation of the priesthood had made it more if a curse.

But he goes much further when he declared, “the Son of Man has authority over the day of worship.” Jesus was proclaiming to the legalistic Jewish rulers that He was greater than the Law and above the laws of the Mosaic Covenant because, as God in flesh, He is the Author of those laws. Far from calming their outage, he metaphorically poured fuel on the fire, a whole tanker truck of gasoline.

He came to right the wrong, to realign humanitie’s will with the will if God. And that meant a lot of people weren’t going to like the changes.

I have a small cup of gasoline myself. Imagine for a moment if Jesus came to you and told you that your religious beliefs were wrong. What do you do? Do you defend the Doctrine and Dogma of your church or do you follow Jesus? Don’t just read your Bible. Study it! Does it agree with what you have believed or does it challenge those beliefs?

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All content (except quotations) © 2018 Thomas E. Williams

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