“At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungered, and began to pluck the ears of corn and to eat” (Matthew 12:1).
Previously, when I read this scripture, I always wondered: Why did the choose to go outdoors on the Sabbath? And why did He allow His disciples to pluck the ears of corn to eat when they went through the corn? The laws stipulated that people must stop all work to worship God on the Sabbath, and must not casually go out or take part in activities. Thus, to the Pharisees, What the Lord Jesus did seemed to violate the laws. But why did the Lord Jesus do like this? What on earth would the Lord Jesus communicate to the people of the day?
Afterward, I discussed this issue together with the brothers and sisters in the Lord. Thanks to the Lord’s leadership and guidance, we ultimately found out the truth: Before the Lord Jesus was incarnated as to do His work, God had always led mankind by the way of the work of the Holy Spirit. On account of corrupt mankind’s mortal eye, anyone, except that Moses and other prophets could directly receive Jehovah God’s revelations, was incapable of directly understanding of and His requirements to man. Therefore, God used Moses to set forth laws. The significance of God’s establishing and decreeing the laws was to convey His will and demands to the man in that age, making them know that if they could keep the laws and commandments, they would get His blessings, or they would be condemned by the law and cursed by Him. Through the laws and the commandments, God led people to live on the earth in a reasonable and ordered way, and made people attain the real fear of God while they kept the laws and commandments. In this way, mankind, corrupted by Satan, could never be devoured by sin but live the normal life of man under the restrictions of the law.
After God become flesh to work among man, He can directly utter His voice to provide all that man needs, and so can He directly express His will and demands to man. For instance, no matter what difficult problems the disciples and people following the Lord Jesus had, they could directly seek the Lord, then He would solve them anytime according to their practical needs, or point out the ways to practice, directly and clearly. For every word spoken by the Lord Jesus, everything done by Him, and every requirement to man made by Him all came from God Himself. Just as the Lord Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life …” (John 14:6). Hence, is there any need for God Himself to appear to man and work on the basis of the letters and doctrines of the law? And can He be subject to time, space and geographical constraints, or to man’s conceptions and imaginations? Thus, the Lord Jesus went outdoors on the Sabbath and allowed His disciples to pluck the ears of corn to eat when they were hungry—this showed the man of the day exactly that His arrival had already ended the age of keeping the law, and begun His new work in the Age of Redemption.
The Lord Jesus’ work at that time did not conform with man’s conceptions, but those, who truly believed in God and loved the truth, such as Peter, John, and so forth, could break away from the bondage and constraint of their conceptions and imaginations, ascertained the Lord from His work and words, and were firm to follow Him and testify to Him. However, the Jewish chief priests, scribes and Pharisees not only refused to seek the truth from the Lord’s work and words, but condemned the Lord Jesus for His not keeping the laws and commandments according to the words and doctrines of the law and thus opposed the new work of God. Actually, the Pharisees just believed in God with their mouths. They believed in the God within their own conceptions and imaginations, and the God confined to the letters in the Scriptures by them. In their opinion, God could only be the God who set forth laws; His work must be limited within the law; as long as the work was beyond the law, then it was not God’s work. Their conceptions were decayed, foolish and stubborn, moreover, their nature were so arrogant and conceited that they would rather die than seek and yield to the truth. As a consequence, they crucified the Lord Jesus, who came to redeem humankind in the world, and committed a heinous crime. As is well known, the Lord Jesus denounced seven woes against them, thoroughly abandoned and eliminated them. It is clear that God’s work is always new and never old. Whoever seeks and obeys the truth, and keeps up with God’s work will be the object of His salvation; whereas anyone who fails to keep up with the steps of God’s work and still clings to his conceptions and imaginations to condemn and resist God belongs to the ilk of the Pharisees, who are all revealed and eliminated by His work. It is a historical lesson from the predecessors, and an admonition that we of modern times and the people of tomorrow should keep in mind.