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  • Monica DuBois

39. Needful Things

He knew it was the Sabbath. He knew His disciples were hungry. He also knew they were being watched. As they all walked along, He turned into a wheat field. They followed Him and had the usual banter between them. And some started to pluck the ripe wheat. It must have been an amazing scene to have seen Jesus moving through the field of ripe wheat. When wheat is ready to harvest each head bends down. Their heads would have all been bowing down to the Savior as he walked. (We, that belong to the Savior, are compared to wheat in the scriptures.)

The ones that were scrutinizing Him, were waiting to catch Him in wrong doing. And here it was, their opportunity to attack. Verse 24 And the Pharisees said unto Him,“Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful?”

They were not referring to them stealing, because it is lawful to eat from a neighbor’s fields. It is not lawful to take a sickle to it. (Deuteronomy 23:25) And they were not referring to the men and women with Him, eating with unwashed hands. (Origins from Exodus 30:17-21) Which was breaking the law, but instead the Pharisees chose to accuse them of working on the sabbath. Taking the grains and crushing them in their hands and blowing away the chaff, before chewing and ingesting the grains of wheat. (My King James Version says corn but we know it had to be wheat because of the example in the following scripture that Jesus gave them.)

Jesus, without hesitating: verse 25-26 And He said unto them, “Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungred, he and they that were with him? How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shew-bread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him?”

Everyone was listening to Him now. When they asked Jesus this question, all you could hear was the slight breeze blowing through the four-foot-tall wheat and the last gulping of the disciples finishing their mouthfuls of grain. Now all eyes were bouncing back and forth between Jesus and the Pharisees, waiting for a response. He asked them a question of a story with which they were very familiar. Anything to do with King David was almost sacred to them. They had challenged Him, and now He was challenging them with their own scriptures.

How dare this man, Jesus, compare himself and His disciples to King David and his men? We know that both David and Jesus are kings in the same lineage; both of them have men following them; both are anointed and appointed by God; and both of them had needs that were met by breaking the law. The Pharisees did not know the other half of these important facts. So, to them this was close to blaspheme. They must have been beside themselves in thinking about David’s story here.

David went into the temple and asked the priest there for the shew-bread. This bread is so special and holy, that only one family in the Levi tribe were set aside to make it. It was a “fire-offering before the Lord.” They are all probably thinking about how the priest made sure that David and his men were “clean and kept themselves from women for three days” before he gave it to David. And they were probably also thinking about King Saul in pursuit to kill David, and later, had these priests murdered for helping this fugitive and his men. (You can find this story in 1 Samuel 21:1-6.)

There are some interesting similarities to these stories that the people with Jesus would not put together until much later. It is written in the Books of Mark 2:23- 28; Matthew 12:1-8; and Luke 6:1-5. But even in these scriptures, the similarities are not stated. You have to dig a bit, but it’s there.

  • Jesus is standing in a wheat field, what is made with wheat? Bread. David asked for the shew-bread.

  • First off both men had a group that had needs.

  • They both were hungry.

  • Jesus led his group to a wheat field. He knew they were hungry and would start to eat. David went into the temple and grabbed the shew-bread. Both are made from the same grain. (Here is a reminder why Jesus chose this situation: John 6:48-51. Specifically verse 48: I Am that Bread of Life.)

  • Jesus was interrogated by the Pharisees; David was asked specific questions by the priest.

  • Jesus was being pursued, and would eventually be unjustly put to death; David was being pursued and being unjustly threatened with death.

  • They both broke the law to provide for their men.

  • Jesus’ group “worked” on the Sabbath day; David took the holy, sacrificial bread to God, that no one but the priests were supposed to eat, and brought it to his men. Both were punishable offenses.

I believe Jesus would have let a long pause happen here before He finished them off with another tidbit to get His real point across. Verse 27, And He said unto them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath.”

This was the icing on their wheat cake! They were furious over this and stockpiled it into their vendetta folder against this “Son of man.” They had set out to catch Him in breaking some kind of law but when Jesus proved to them that the Sabbath was designed by God for man to rest. Rest means to cease from work in order to relax, refresh oneself or to recover strength. Written into the law were several occasions when it was okay to do work, if not doing it was going to cause you more stress: like pulling one of your livestock out of a hole in the ground, the law provided and justified this kind of work. Jesus’ point was His disciples were getting the refreshment, the reprieve they needed that day and were not “working.” Jesus’ words must have cut them to the quick in their hearts. He stated that He, the Son of man, is also Lord of the Sabbath. Jesus did not stop his men from “working” since He deemed what they were doing was necessary. They were resting, and refreshing their bodies. He allowed it and so should they.

On your Sabbath day, do you push through and work, not allowing your body/mind to rest? Or do you do things to refresh your mind, body and spirit? Or worse yet stress over the time that you are “resting” and deem it as wasted time that could be “productive time”? God rested as an example of what our human bodies need every 6 days. What more do you need to prove that a day of rest is completely wholesome and needful? Jesus states that the sabbath was made for us. It seems He leave it up to us to study and know what our own individual needs are and to meet those needs and be kind to our bodies, minds and spirits after 6 days of work.

Our culture says it’s okay to work through the sabbath or Sunday. “You can sleep when you are dead,” have you heard that one? It’s counter productive to “work through” that seventh day. Have you heard this: “No rest for the weary?” That’s why Jesus says: “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I Am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light. Matthew 11:28-29

There is a call to enter into His rest. Hebrews 4:8-11.

We know that God provided a day of rest once a week for us. Jesus provided rest, and refreshment for his disciples that day. David provided sustenance for his men. What do you have planned for your Sabbath day to refresh your whole being?

How about walking in a field of wheat with Jesus?

by Monica DuBois 10/4/2021

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1 Comment

DuBois Family
DuBois Family
Oct 04, 2021

Totally awesome!! You weave the perfect

scripture into your writing like a fine tapestry. You make it so clear and understandable. Thank you.

Love your writing Beautiful wife!!

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