This week, we continued the “Two Kings, Two Thrones” series. In this part, we looked at David fleeing Saul and running to the house of God. We started in 1 Samuel 20. David has had a third spear thrown at him and decides he needs to flee. David tells Jonathan that Saul is planning to kill David. They devise a plan so Jonathan can find out what Saul’s intentions are. There was a feast of the new moon, David does not go. On the first day, Saul does not notice. On the second day, Saul notices but assumes David is ceremonially unclean and can’t attend. On the third day, Saul hears that David just decided not to come and Saul throws a spear at Jonathan. Jonathan then alerts David that he should flee
In 1 Samuel 21, David has finally convinced Jonathan that Saul wants David gone. His anger toward David was fierce. When David gets to the tabernacle he speaks to Ahimelech, the priest. He asks if there is any food for him and his men. Ahimelech says that there is no food except for the consecrated bread from the tabernacle. This bread was only to be eaten by the priest in the
If there was bread leftover, the other priests could eat it. A non-priest was
not to eat this consecrated bread, yet, Ahimelech offers this bread to David. Notice also that David asked for 5 loaves,
just like the 5 loaves (and 2 fish) Jesus multiplied to feed thousands. I have not had time to research further the
correlation here, but I’m sure there is one.
This event illustrates how the spirit of the law is more important than the letter of the law. It was unlawful for David to eat this bread, but the hunger of David was more important than that law. Jesus uses this event to illustrate that same point in Matthew 12. The Pharisees confront Him because His disciples were picking and eating grain on the Sabbath. This was unlawful. Now, Jesus was not doing so, but only his disciples. Remember, He was fulfilling the law for us.
In verse 6, Jesus tells them that one greater than the temple was here. We generally believe He is speaking of himself. The Greek word that is used for “one” is more frequently translated “something.” This means He may have been saying “something greater than the
” was here. In the context of what He
had just said in the previous verses and was about to say in the next verse,
that actually makes more sense. That “something” was grace. In the next verse,
He says that mercy is greater than sacrifice (quoting Hosea 6:6). The temple
was the picture of sacrifice. It was where the people made their sacrifices to
Him. Grace was going to make the sacrifice for us and eliminate our requirement
of making those sacrifices. Jesus became THE sacrifice. Temple
Jesus used the same verse just a couple chapters earlier in Matthew 9. There He told the Pharisees to go learn what it meant. Now, by their words and accusations, they demonstrated they had not learned – which is why in Chapter 11 he says, “If you had known” instead of “go and learn.” Finally, Jesus says He is Lord of the Sabbath. Another way of saying that is “ruler of God’s rest.” As the ruler of rest, He determines what is most important – the rules for how to rest or the needs of one who cannot rest. He is calling us to enter His rest. We no longer must make sacrifice for our sins, but receive the gift of salvation and His righteousness. Then we can help others enter that rest. Sounds like He has a plan!