Psalms 16, 17 * 22; Proverbs 8:1-20; 2John 1-13; Matthew 12:1-14
The disciples of Jesus are plucking the heads of grain on the sabbath as they walk along, and Jesus is criticized by the Pharisees for allowing them to do so on the sabbath. Jesus tells the Pharisees, basically, to pound sand. Jesus then goes into the synagogue and heals a man with a withered hand, again on the sabbath, much to the dismay of the Pharisees, who then go away to plot his demise.
These scenes almost seem like comic charactertures of real life. I imagine a stooped over individual watching Jesus like a hawk, ready to pounce on everything and anything he does: to criticize every seeming step out of bounds he makes. It is almost laughable. Except it isn't. Because we still have the thought-police, the belief-police, the theological-police around us today, telling us what is right and what is wrong and don't anyone dare think that God might exist outside of the tight confines of this little box that they have constructed.
When confronted by these narrow-minded individuals, it helps me to remember Jesus, with his disciples in the grain field and in the synagogue, on the sabbath, doing what is right, going beyond the narrow-box precepts espoused by the Pharisees, and living into what is God's love for us and the world around us. And then I give 'em (in my mind) a big old raspberry: PHTHHHTTT!
Copyright 2008, John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.