Thursday, September 8, 2016

Applying Torah with kindness of heart

A dispute in the fields- Matthew 12:1-8

"At that time, Yeshua passed through the standing grain on the day of Shabbat. His disciples were hungry so they started to pluck head of grain and they ate.

The Prushim saw this and said to Him:

"Look! Your disciples are doing what is not to be done on Shabbat."

"Have you not read what David did when he and his men were hungry- that he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the presence, which neither he nor his men are permitted to eat, but only the priests?

Have you not read in the Torah that on the Shabbatot, the priests desacrate the Shabbat in the Temple, yet do not have iniquity?

I tell you that there is something greater than the Temple here.
If only you knew what is said: "I have desired kindness and not Sacrifice, you would not have condemned the innocent.

For the Son of Man is even the Master of Shabbat."

Please bear in mind that you are in front of a difficult text. If the symbolism of Yeshua's words are not replaced into their authentic cultural and cultual Hebrew context, they will not make sense at all and you will miss the very meaning of rabbi Yeshua's Torah and Tanakh-based teaching.

Studying this part of the Gospels imply that we study Torah. I may not have all the knowledge required on this subject matter, but I will trust on the Spirit's faithful guidance.

How does the Torah rule out this matter?

" When you enter your neighbor's standing grain, then you MAY pluck the head's with your hand, but you shall not wield a sickle in your neighbor's standing grain."

Deuteronomy 23:25

The Torah plainly justifies the disciple's behavior. However, some major difficulty arises in the application of the verse, because this happens on Shabbat day- actually not just any Shabbat, but as Luke 6:1 specifies it, the scene occurs on the first Shabbat after the Festival of Unleavened Bread ( Passover).

So the seriousness of the matter is often overlooked. The dispute is actually about BREAKING SHABBAT because of doing something that is assimilated to work.
The Pharisee's accusation is serious, because desacrating Shabbat is dishonoring Hashem's commandment to honor the 7th Day.

From the Pharisees' point of view, picking on the grain is interpreted as an action of reaping or harvesting, which would be fully prohibited on Shabbat Day.

Yeshua's pleading in favor of His disciple's behavior makes mention of a prior event: the story of King David reported in  1 Samuel 21: 2-7
David's actions are justified because he is on mission for Hashem. In the same way, Yeshua our Messiah has been sent by Hashem and the disciples are on a sacred mission.
The attentive reader will understand that His words reveal Him as the Messiah

The Book of Matthew unveils Yeshua's divinity through His words:

  1. I tell you there is something greater than the Temple here.
  2. For the Son of Man is even the Master of Shabbat

The Breads of Proposition are called "Lekhem hapanim" in Hebrew

Lekhem hapanim means " Bread of the faces". A real strong connection pointing at the divine Presence prevails here.

Quoting the following website ( out of which the image above is taken, all credits to

" According to the Gemara on Menalot 7, shulhan lehem hapanim has two sets of 6 shelves upon which the fresh loaves are placed every Shabbat while the loaves that are replaced are eaten by the kohanim."

Kindness in applying Torah

What is Yeshua pointing at when He refutes the Pharisees' arguments?

Yeshua is quoting Hosea 6:6

"For I desire mercy, not sacrifice."

Rabbi Yeshua is actually pointing at the word "Hesed" which means " loving kindness". 
The Prushim ( Pharisees) apply rules in a very rigid manner and lack kindness.
Our Messiah often opposed their way of applying Torah, because they privileged traditions of men and placed them above Hashem's commandments.

However, a lot of people are pointing an accusatory finger at the Pharisees' manners, sometimes intentionally forgetting that many Christian leaders and assemblies have done much worse, by merely placing pagan traditions of men over Hashem's commandments. During Centuries, millions of people have been misled through their wrongdoings. My question to these people is: don't you fear Hashem in the least for daring to spit at Pharisees, who by the way, were justified by Yeshua as " being seated on the seat of Moshe"?

May you always have heart to walk in obedience and Hashem's loving kindness. Amen.

Copyright© by Isabelle Esling

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