The religious establishment is on him. They’ve been following him ever since he splashed onto the scene months earlier, healing people and preaching and gaining a following of large crowds. These Bible teachers, these Pharisees, are the religion police of their day, and they have dispatched some agents to check Jesus out. Now they’re following him everywhere. In this passage, they are walking through a grain field. And they confront his disciples for picking some of the grain…a major no-no? So Jesus responds with with a story. He even starts it off by saying “Have you never read…?” And you know they read it many, many times. But there he is taking the Bible scholars back to Sunday School.
Basically he is saying to them “You guys who are supposed to know this Bible inside and out, you missed something.” I wonder how he said this. I would love to know the tone in his voice. Was there any sarcasm? A twinkle in his eye? Frustration?
I think the Pharisees are quite surprised by Jesus. Take a look at Luke 6:1-11, and see what you think. Does he surprise you?
He tells them a story from the life of Israel’s most famous king, David. When you read it, my guess is that it would rank, for most people, in the category of little-known stories. The bible scholars of his day would have been, or should have been, really familiar with it. It’s a story when David was in a tough predicament and he did something unheard of. Scandalous even. And actually a priest let him do it! A priest let David break the Law. Shocking? Not really, when you find out the details. But why not? We’ll learn more on Sunday.
And we’ll see why Jesus brings this story up on a Sabbath day in the middle of a grain field to confront the religious establishment guys who are ticked off.
Why are the Pharisees so upset? Why does Jesus confront their Bible knowledge? As we study this passage, perhaps we need to go back to Sunday School too. It is possible that we might have a little learning from Jesus to do too.
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