Dispute in a Grainfield: The Responses of Jesus in their First Century Context
By R. Herbert
“Although all of the four Gospels record the teachings of Jesus, the Gospel of Matthew is unique in giving us insight into the way Jesus often taught. Because Matthew appears to have been written (probably first in Hebrew) for a primarily Jewish audience, it includes many details that would have been readily understandable to his 1st Century Jewish readers, though we may not notice or easily grasp them today. An important example is found in Matthew’s story of Jesus’ argument with the Pharisees over the matter of his disciples “harvesting” grain on the Sabbath day. The account is found in Matthew 12:
“At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, ‘Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath’” (Matthew 12:1-2).
The Mosaic law specifically provided for individuals to pluck grain as they walked through a field (Deuteronomy 23:25), so for the Pharisees the problem with the disciples’ actions was not taking the grain, but taking it on the Sabbath. Jesus responded to this accusation by giving a number of examples showing why the disciples were not breaking the Sabbath…”
(this article is an excerpt from the Nov-Dec 2016 edition of the Sabbath Sentinel)
To read the rest of this article, which starts on page 7, click this link: https://biblesabbath.org/media/Nov-Dec_2016_WEB.pdf