Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of June 29, 2008
- Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of June 29, 2008
As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho
Press, here is a selection from our book of daily
devotions, "Living as the Beloved: One Day at a
Time," by the Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.
Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's
meditation. We hope you will be blessed.
Thank you for forwarding this to your friends.
Lord of the Sabbath
"For the Son of man is lord of the sabbath."
The disciples of Jesus were hungry. We find them
traveling on the Jewish Sabbath. Then they broke
religious laws by eating grain in the fields. The
Pharisees (Jewish religious leaders) confront Jesus
on the spot, "Look! Your disciples are doing what
is unlawful on the Sabbath" (Matthew 12:2 NIV).
Jesus gives them a lesson from history and
reinterprets their ancient story of beloved
David. Many years ago, David was fleeing for
his life. He and his companions illegally ate
consecrated bread. Jesus hammers home his point
and clearly lets it be known that "one greater
than the temple is here." And then he quotes
Hebrew scriptures (Hosea 6:6; Micah 6:6-8 NIV)
to reinforce his teachings, "I desire mercy,
Jesus then makes a significant revolutionary
statement about himself, "For the Son of Man
is Lord of the Sabbath." The expression, "Son
of Man," was Jesus' most common title for himself.
It is found 81 times in the Gospels and was only
used by Jesus. But what does it mean for twenty-
first century readers unfamiliar with the Jewish
theological understanding of this audacious and
astonishing title? Why were some listeners
outraged and religiously offended, and others
overjoyed and eager to learn more?
For starters, the Son of Man is a mysterious
heavenly figure found in the Old Testament book
of Daniel (7:13-14), entrusted with divine authority,
glory, and sovereign power from God for use during
the final judgment of the world. This title is
every bit as powerful as the theological title,
"Christ," meaning Messiah, or God's anointed one.
Jesus also used "Son of Man" as an expression of
his humanity. He experienced hunger and thirst,
discouragement and exhilaration, joy and sorrow,
temptations and frustrations. This is why Jesus
can fully identify with our human condition with
sovereign power and compassion, helping us during
our times of need.
Who is Jesus? He is obviously more than a healer
and teacher. Claiming to be the "Son of Man" and
"Lord of the Sabbath," he has the authority to
overturn Sabbath laws. What will happen next?
How does this affect our personal lives? Where
are you in this story? Are you outraged and deeply
offended by this teaching or eager to learn more?
God, I ask that you bless my understanding about
Jesus and his self-proclaimed titles, "Son of Man"
and "Lord of the Sabbath." Give me a renewed
appreciation of Jesus and his teachings. Transform
my life with this knowledge, I pray.
Grace and peace,
Chi Rho Press
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