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MATTHEW - Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand!
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to Matthew
PART 2 - Christ teaches and Ministers in Galilee (Matthew 5:1 - 18:35)
D - The Unbelieving Jews and Their Enmity to Jesus (Matthew 11:2 - 18:35)
1. The Elders of the Jews Reject Christ (Matthew 11:2 - 12:50)

e) The Disciples Pluck the Heads of Grain on the Sabbath (Matthew 12:1-8)

MATTHEW 12:1-8
1 At that time, Jesus went on the Sabbath day through the grain fields. His disciples were hungry and began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. 2 But the Pharisees, when they saw it, said to him, “Behold, your disciples do what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.” 3 But he said to them, “Haven’t you read what David did, when he was hungry, and those who were with him; 4 how he entered into God’s house, and ate the show bread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for those who were with him, but only for the priests? 5 Or have you not read in the law, that on the Sabbath day, the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are guiltless? 6 But I tell you that one greater than the temple is here. 7 But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. 8 For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”
(Exodus 20:10, Leviticus 24:9, 1 Samuel 21:6, Hosea 6:6, Mark 2:23-28, Luke 6:1-5)

Christ’s disciples felt hungry because they had no riches. They prayed to their Father, “Give us this day our daily bread,” and trusted God and His daily providence, believing that He would turn men’s hearts into streams of water.

As the disciples waited for God’s gifts, they began to pick the kernels of wheat because they were hungry. This is not considered stealing since the Old Testament law legally permitted the taking of what is necessary for food when one is hungry, but to collect it into containers is considered stealing. According to the New Testament, it is not considered appropriate to touch what belongs to others.

The Pharisees did not complain about the disciples plucking heads of grain, but for taking and rubbing them on the Sabbath day, which they considered as work. This was, according to their understanding, a violation of the Sabbath and was deserving death. Keeping the Sabbath day was one of the great symbols that connected them with their covenant with the Lord, who had separated them and preferred them to other peoples.

But Christ, in His prudence, explained to them, through the example of David and the priests, that the commandment to love God and men is greater than the commandment to keep the Sabbath. He compared His disciples with priests and kings, for those poor in spirit were, in fact, God’s spiritual kings and priests. They also belonged to the New Testament, the provisions of which are different from the old one. Thus Christ called Himself the Lord of the Sabbath, for He had brought a new law – the law of love. The heavenly lawgiver teaches us in this law that man is not justified by keeping the commandments, but only by the grace of the blood of the Lamb of God. Christ’s teachings consecrate us to serve with love and joy, even on the Sabbath. It is by love that we are sanctified.

The notable indication that Christians are not under the obligation of the law and its provisions, is their keeping Sunday instead of the Sabbath day. Sunday is the day on which Christ rose from His tomb conquering death. Sunday is the symbol of the divine life proclaimed in Christ’s resurrection. It is at the same time the instrument of our freedom from the Mosaic Law requirements. We know that we are not justified by keeping neither the Sabbath day nor Sunday, for cursed is he that seeks justification by law, but he who participates in Christ’s Spirit and life shall live and be sanctified every day and forever. It is not the days that are holy in Christianity, but the believers themselves. Christ does not sanctify times and seasons, but He sanctifies His followers that they may walk holy all the days of the week and not only on Saturday or Sunday.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, we thank You from the bottom of our hearts for sanctifying us and freeing us from formal worship. Glory be to You for being with us every day in our work. You fill our hours with Your love. Help us to understand and to live in the power of Your Son’s resurrection in our lives that we may live in the way everlasting. Amen.


  1. How is Christ the Lord of the Sabbath?


Dear reader,
having read our comments on the Gospel of Christ according to Matthew in this booklet, you are now able to answer the following questions. If you answer 90% of the questions stated below, we will send you the next parts of this series for your edification. Please do not forget to include writing your full name and address clearly on the answer sheet.

  1. What does Jesus command us to ask Him insistently?
  2. What is the content of the authority that Jesus gave His disciples?
  3. What are the first five commands that Christ gave to His disciples with respect to preaching?
  4. Who will accept the peace of God?
  5. Who are our enemies, and what promise did Jesus give us concerning them?
  6. How do we overcome the waves of persecution?
  7. What does He mean with His saying, “A disciple is not above his teacher?”
  8. What does the faithful following of Christ signify?
  9. How can we overcome in us the fear of men with regards to our testimony?
  10. What do fate and divine decrees signify in Christianity?
  11. Why are we prohibited from fearing men or death?
  12. How should the converted behave with his family, which persecutes him because of his faith in Jesus?
  13. On what occasion does the gospel of Matthew mention Christ’s talking about the cross for the first time?
  14. How is the unity between God and those who believe in Christ completed?
  15. What are the wages of the prophet, the righteous and the followers of Christ?
  16. What did you learn from Christ’s order to preach to the lost?
  17. Why did Jesus not release the Baptist from prison?
  18. Why is the least in the kingdom of God considered greater than John the Baptist, the last and greatest prophet of the Old Testament?
  19. Why did Jesus compare the people of His time with children?
  20. Why does Christ consider unbelief in Him filthier than the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah?
  21. How does Christ know God essentially as God alone knows Christ?
  22. What is Christ’s yoke that He wants to put upon us?
  23. How is Christ the Lord of the Sabbath?

We encourage you to complete with us the examination of Christ and his Gospel that you may receive an everlasting treasure. We are awaiting your answers and praying for you. Our address is:

Waters of Life
P.O.Box 600 513
70305 Stuttgart

Internet: www.waters-of-life.net
Internet: www.waters-of-life.org
e-mail: info@waters-of-life.net


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