Today’s reading: Matthew 12:1-21
In Matthew 12 we see Jesus allowing his disciples to pick and eat grain and healing a man’s paralyzed hand on the Sabbath. Jesus makes it clear that it is “lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” But Jesus also makes some important statements about the nature of the Sabbath. He says, “Come to me all who labor and are burdened and I will give you rest.” (Chapter 11:28). Notice, rest is now tied to a day but now rest is in the person of Jesus Christ.
Jesus also says, “Take my yoke upon you … For my yolk is easy, and my burden is light.” Yolks are upside down “U” shaped harness to attach a team of oxen to a plow. This is one reason priests where cloth stoles when they are working. The cloth hanging from their necks looks like a yolk, yet because it is made of cloth is light.
Finally, Jesus says, “I say to you, something greater than the temple is here.” This is an important revelation. We will come to see more and more that Jesus’ body is the new temple. The temple is where the sacrifices were made. Jesus will be the new sacrifice. The temple is where the bread of the presence was kept. Jesus is the new bread. Although, the Sabbath is a day of rest, it was also a day of sacrifice. Thus, we see that like rest and sacrifice were once combined in the Sabbath they are now combined in Jesus.
Tomorrow: Matthew 12:22-37