Lord of All
Today’s reading: Genesis 36-37; Matthew 12:1-21
6 I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. 7 And 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.” Matthew 12:6-8
Jesus Christ came to earth through the sinfully flawed lineage of Abraham, Isaac and, Jacob and into a society steeped in legalistic fear. He came not to merely make things better but to begin to bring the nations to His kingdom and under His lordship. Not surprisingly, He collided with the powers that were, the Pharisees with their over-scrupulous preoccupation with keeping their interpretation of the law. Matthew records two of these collisions here in which Jesus’ practice upset the status quo.
In the context of these incidents, Jesus teaches that He is Lord of the Sabbath. He alone is qualified to interpret the true meaning of the Sabbath, which ought to give priority to mercy not sacrifice and the well being of Man not the satisfaction of arbitrary rules amended to God’s law.
The story of Joseph’s early life in today’s reading further demonstrates the depravity of man. Jacob’s sons are from four different mothers which by itself is likely to cause competition. Jacob’s favoritism toward Joseph exacerbates the potential problems. Joseph is favored but he will suffer much for his status.
It is not hard to draw parallels between Joseph and Jesus. Both are favored sons of their fathers. Both suffer at the hands of their brothers. Both remain faithful even in the face of undeserved mistreatment. The suffering of them both ultimately results in the saving of those who made them suffer.
Jesus was Lord of the Sabbath, but not just the Sabbath, He is Lord of all: all things, all people, all of the universe. Today we can see how this is demonstrated in Scripture and in human history. Let us follow our Lord to the end when His kingdom will fully triumph.