Day Two Hundred Ninety-Eight, Mark 2, Matt. 9, Luke 5, John 5, Matt. 12, Luke 6
Today we read the first of many times that the teachers of the law and the Pharisees will oppose Jesus and His teachings, because He is doing things that they, as self-appointed, self-righteous enforcers of the Law-as-they-see-it, do not approve of. He calls Matthew (a much-hated tax collector who is likely despised for being a friend of the Romans) to be a follower of His. Matthew hosts a party for Jesus at his home, where he invites all of his tax-collector friends to hang out with Jesus, and the Pharisees accuse of Jesus of dining with "sinners"--as though they, themselves, are not sinners!
They question Jesus about the fact that His disciples do not fast and pray, to which He gives them what must be a cryptic response about the friends of the bridegroom not fasting while the bridegroom is with them. He assures the Pharisees that the time will come for the bridegroom to be taken from His followers, and then will be the time for fasting.
Jesus is also accused of not keeping the Sabbath when He and His disciples pick grain on the Sabbath, and when Jesus does some healing on the Sabbath. When He is accused after picking the grain--that is, doing what is unlawful--Jesus gives the Pharisees a couple of examples. He reminds them that even King David did what was unlawful by eating the consecrated bread, and He points out the fact that the priests in the Temple desecrate the Sabbath, yet they are considered innocent, because they are doing Temple work. Jesus wants them to understand the spirit of the law, not just the letter of the law, as He tells them that "the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath." He asserts to them that one greater than David and one greater than the Temple is here.
After healing on the Sabbath, Jesus gave them this answer, which speaks to the authority that Jesus has as God's own Son--the authority He has to give life to those who would believe in Him.
"I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement, he will show him even greater things than these. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him."