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Have you ever known someone who was nitpicky? You know, someone who always scrutinized your actions, finding ample things to criticize? Someone who picks on every little flaw, or flaw they perceive. I once knew someone who was nitpicky about washing fruit and vegetables in a special sanitizing solution. It had to be done, just right before her and her daughter would use them. And this was years before the Covid pandemic.
Jesus also had to deal with some nitpicky people. Mark 2:23-24 says, ‘One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?”’ (NIV)
The nitpicky Pharisees thought grabbing a few heads of grain and rubbing them in your hands to separate the grain was work. They accused Jesus’ disciples of violating the fourth commandment about keeping the Sabbath holy.
Jesus’ reply tells us something important about the Sabbath. In verse 27 he said, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” Jesus rejected their nitpicky interpretation. The disciples had done nothing wrong. People were not created just to jump through the hoops of God’s law. God’s law was made to benefit people. Let’s be sure to take a day of rest each week. It is healthy for our bodies. When we use that day to remember our Creator, it is also spiritually healthy.
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.