In Today's Scripture Reading:
Jesus, Lord of the Sabbath; controversy with Pharisees; unpardonable sin; Christ's death and resurrection foretold; His true kin
Jesus was confronted by the Pharisees who criticized His disciples, saying: Behold, Thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the Sabbath day (Matthew 12:2). Jesus responded: I say unto you, That in this place is One greater than the Temple. . . . For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath day (12:6-8). The Old Testament worship system foreshadowed the life and ministry of Jesus Christ as well as His Church. Israel had been commanded to keep the last day of the week, the Sabbath, as a day of rest to commemorate God's work of creation in six days (Exodus 20:9-11).
The Sabbath, as well as all Jewish worship days, which were also Sabbaths or holy convocations, were a shadow of things to come. The early Church recognized this and, in commemoration of Christ's resurrection, upon the first day of the week . . . the disciples came together to break bread (Acts 20:7). A few years later, the Apostle Paul was led to write: Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings (collections) when I come (I Corinthians 16:2).
Most Christians assemble to worship the Lord Jesus Christ on the first day of the week. Jesus rose from the grave on the first day of the week (Mark 16:9). In this way, we honor Him as Lord of our lives by putting Him first in every week. The Sabbath day of rest has its counterpart in the New Covenant that in all things He might have the preeminence (first place). . . . Let no man therefore judge you in meat (food), or in drink, or in respect of an holyday (festival), or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come (Colossians 1:18; 2:16-17).
The Passover, commemorating Israel's freedom from Egyptian bondage, was replaced at Christ's final Passover, when He instituted the Lord's Supper. As Jesus and the apostles were eating the Passover meal, Jesus took bread, and blessed (gave thanks to God for) it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is My body. And He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink . . . all of it (from it, all of you); For this is My blood of the New Testament (Covenant), which is shed for many for the remission of sins (Matthew 26:26-28).
12:1 corn =b> grain fields; 12:5 profane =b> violate or break the law; 12:29 spoil his goods =/i> take away his possessions; 12:44 garnished =b> ready for use.
For Matthew 12:7: See Hosea 6:6. Matthew 12:18-21: See Isaiah 42:1-4. Matthew 12:40: See Jonah 1:17.
Pray for Government Officials: Rep. Virginia Brown-Waite (FL), Rep. Benjamin Cardin (MD), and Rep. Dennis Rehberg (MT) • Country: Liberia (3 million) in West Africa • Major languages: English and more than 20 local languages of the Niger-Congo language group • Religious freedom • 41% ancestor worship and witchcraft; 21% Muslim; 13% Protestant; 2% Roman Catholic • Prayer Suggestion: Trust in the Lord: where He guides, He provides (Psalm 16:1-8).
Memory Verse for the Week: Malachi 3:10