King's Business - 1915-02



man is of much more value than a sheep (v. 12). A good many have not learned it yet. Have you really learned it? The Pharisees had no pity for the poor fellow with a withered hand, all they saw in his misery was a chance to entrap Christ. They were very religious, great sticklers lor the letter, but withered in heart. Are there not many such today? Jesus was “angered” at them, and “grieved at the hardening of their hearts” (Mark 3:5). He is just the same today. The Pharisees attended to the minute ■and neglected the mammoth (Matt. 23:23). For the Pharisees of all ages 1 Corinthians 13 is especially adapted. Our Lord’s ene­ mies wanted to see Him do something that they might accuse Him of breaking, the Sabbath. But He did not lift a hand. He did nothing but spoke a word of power and the cure was wrought and His enemies were completely baffled. They could not accuse Him of Working on the Sabbath Day, for if there was any work done, God Himself must have done it. Jesus had simply spo­ ken, and that was not contrary even to the Pharasaic interpretation of the Sabbath law. But though the Pharisees were silenced,, they were not satisfied. They went out and took counsel how they might destroy Him. The method of the cure was deeply signifi­ cant; He commanded the man to do what was quite likely naturally impossible for him to do, but with the will to obey came the power »to act (v. 13). Our Lord often commands the impossible, but if we will just believe Him He will give the power to do the impossible (cf. Mark 9:23). The command was a simple test of faith; the man acted his faith and the deed was done and the hand was restored whole. It is a beautiful illustration of what faith is—sim­ ply stepping out on Christ’s word. Saturday, February 13. Matthew 12:15-21. The Pharisees had failed to meet Jesus in reasoning from the Scriptures so they plotted His destruction. This has been the way of many. But the Pharisees could not hurt Jesus, His time was not yet come. All

28) and therefore that the Son of Man, the ideal Man, the consummation and Head of the race was Lord even of the Sabbath. This last principle was one the scope or which was not fully comprehended until after His death and resurrection. As Lord of thé Sabbath Jesus has entirely aDrogated the seventh day Sabbath which was "the shadow of things to come” and which be­ longed distinctly to. the old creation so that now we have no right to judge any one in respect of a Sabbath Day (Col. 2:16, 17). But man needs a Sabbath Day, it was or­ dained to meet this need, and as Christians belonging to the new creation, risen with Christ (Col. 3:1) we keep “the Lord’s Day” (Rev. 1 :10), the first day of the week (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:2), Resurrection Day. Let those who are under the law keep the sev­ enth day ; let those who are under grace and upon resurrection ground keep the first (Gal, 3:10). Friday, February 12. Matthew 12:9-14. Even after His conflict with the Phari­ sees, Jesus went into the synagogue. It was His custom to frequent the synagogue on the Sabbath (cf. Luke 4:16). Here an­ other conflict awaited Him. It was intro­ duced by the question, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sababth Day?” The question was not asked from an honest desire for infor­ mation, but to get material for an accusation. However, the question was important and received an honest and deeply significant answer, viz. “It is lawful to do good on the Sabbath Day” (R. V.). Mercy and love are more than ceremonies even though these ceremonies be of Divine appointment ; God “will have mercy and not sacrifice.” Love is the Divinest thing in the world (1 John 4:8) ; therefore, the demands of Divinely appointed ceremonies must give way before the activities and exigencies ol love, which is itself Divine. Lower law must yield to higher law. The Pharisees themselves acted upon this principle when it concerned sheep, but not when it con­ cerned men. They had not learned that a

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