Luke 6:1-11 (ESV)
1 On a Sabbath, while he was going through the grainfields, his disciples plucked and ate some heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands. 2 But some of the Pharisees said, “Why are you doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath?” 3 And Jesus answered them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: 4 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?” 5 And he said to them, “The Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.” 6 On another Sabbath, he entered the synagogue and was teaching, and a man was there whose right hand was withered. 7 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. 8 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. 9 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?” 10 And after looking around at them all he said to him, “Stretch out your hand.” And he did so, and his hand was restored. 11 But they were filled with fury and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus.
Jesus and his followers walked through a field of grain on the Sabbath. They were hungry, so they picked kernels of wheat and ate them. In doing this, the Pharisees said they had violated the Sabbath. On another Sabbath, a man with a shriveled hand entered the synagogue where Jesus taught. The Pharisees suspected that Jesus might try to heal him, and he did. In both cases, the Pharisees were keeping a close eye on Jesus to catch him in some sort of error (v. 7). The Hebrew word Sabbath literally means “rest.” God used the word Sabbath for the first time when the Israelites were on their way to the Promised Land. They had no food, and they depended upon God to provide them with something to eat. God gave them daily manna from heaven, but every Saturday, they were to take the day off and rest from collecting the food, “working” for six days and taking the seventh off. The Sabbath became a sign of the covenant relationship between God and his people, while reminding Israel of the future and permanent “rest” to come. Although the Pharisees, who held spiritual authority, accused Jesus and his disciples of breaking the Sabbath, Jesus knew what was pleasing to God. He wasn’t breaking the Law by eating grain, nor was he violating God’s design by healing. The problem didn’t lie with Jesus. It was with the religious leaders. Jesus declared, “The Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”
Like Jesus, we will hear countless opinions telling us what is and isn’t pleasing to God. How do we know which voices are correct? Jesus knew the Scripture, and he knew exactly what God was looking for in human behavior. Let’s not forget that we have access to God’s word too! There’s an interesting verse in Acts 17:11, which mentions a group of people from a town called Berea. The apostle Paul praises them for eagerly searching the Scripture to make sure the things they were learning from him were true. As you listen to the sea of voices in this life trying to tell you what God’s will is, don’t rely on others, or even your own feelings for truth. Examine the Bible to make sure what you hear is correct. If it’s not, toss it and move on. If it is, hold on to it, apply it, and become more like the woman God desires you to be.