Daily Devotion for Lent | Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Read Mark 2:23-28.
One Sabbath He was going through the grain fields, and as they made their way, His disciples began to pluck heads of grain. And the Pharisees were saying to Him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” (Mark 2:23-24)
“I feel like I’m being nibbled to death by ducks.” Have you ever heard anybody say that? It’s a good description of what it’s like to live with the picky expectations of others. Jesus and His disciples faced this problem when they were out walking and the Pharisees found them eating handfuls of grain.
They were hungry. Why not eat a little? Jewish law explicitly allowed this sort of thing as long as you weren’t actually taking away your neighbor’s grain in containers. But the Pharisees weren’t going to have this behavior, oh no. They said it was “harvesting,” and therefore forbidden work on the Sabbath day.
It would have been easy for Jesus to argue with them. Since when is picking a handful of something “harvesting”? But Jesus skips the question about “how much is too much” and goes straight to the heart of the matter—was the Sabbath law intended to be a burden to people, or a blessing? He reminds them of King David who broke a far more serious law to feed his men. And He winds up with “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27b-28).
There is the heart of it. Jesus is the Son of God.That makes Him an expert in His own laws. But He is also the Son of Man, the one perfect human being who is about to redeem the rest of humanity. He Himself is carrying the whole burden of God’s Law on His own shoulders—living it perfectly—preparing Himself for the day when He will trade places with us, taking our guilt and lawbreaking upon Himself, and giving us His own perfect goodness.That will happen at the cross.
And the result of His loving self-sacrifice? It will be a whole harvest of humanity gathered like good grain into God’s barn (see Matthew 3:12). And it’s not because we obeyed a huge set of laws, but because we trust in Jesus who has taken our place under the Law—and given us freedom and everlasting life.
THE PRAYER: Dear Father,You have blessed me with so many things I need. Thank You most of all for Your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Brought to you in partnership with Lutheran Hour Ministries – lhm.org/lent
About These Devos
SILENT WITNESSES Lenten Devotions 2018
For Christians, the season of Lent is marked by deep reflection on the appearance of the Savior and, naturally, what His life, suffering, death, and resurrection mean for our lives now. God’s human involvement in our world is a perfect example of His intimate love for us. He spared nothing to make Himself known to us—a fact that proclaims in no uncertain terms how “God so loved the world.” In Silent Witnesses, readers will note both the majestic—and mundane—aspects of the Gospel accounts: stories telling how God in His infinite power came down and “has spoken to us by His Son.”
Lutheran Hour Ministries (LHM) is a Christian outreach ministry supporting churches worldwide in its mission of Bringing Christ to the Nations—and the Nations to the Church.