Mark 2:23-29 – Sabbath Snacks
Another few verses into the Gospel of Mark and yet another “I never noticed” moment. In the previous verses, Jesus was asked about His disciples not fasting like John’s followers and the Pharisees. He was being questioned about the actions of His disciples. It was His disciples that were feasting when everyone else was fasting. Now he is answering for them again .. It was His followers that were plucking grain (reaping) on the Sabbath. Two chapters in and already he shows His vocation as advocate for others, answering accusations made against apparent sinners.
And who were these guys following them around looking for ways to discredit the new teacher anyway? These guys were just a bunch of intellectuals with no authority, akin to many of the talking heads of today. Masters of the art of influence and persuasion, adept at swaying public opinion. Acting like the prosecuting attorney without any actual authority to render a judgement. (Rather Satanic actually). Were they actually intent on bringing about justice, or were they more interested in maintaining the power and status that comes from “winning?”
Jesus came to take on the accuser on our behalf. What an awesome way to begin defining His role as Messiah! The Messiah is not an accuser. As a matter of fact, there is not an accuser in the Godhead. Although God demands righteousness, He is not the prosecuting attorney, He is the judge. He leaves the defense to Jesus.
God is not mad at me and brings no accusation against me. It is not that He does not care when I stumble, on the contrary. He sent us an advocate to help turn things around; an advocate with a goal to restore us to His image so that I can take me rightful place in the society of His kingdom. He did not send the newbie public defender, He deployed the best, His Son to defend not only us, but all of His creation. He didn’t stop there, He sent His Spirit to walk us through rehab and to protect us from the Accuser. What an awesome model of justice!
Each of us has a role to play in this system, we also need to be like Jesus and defend the defenseless with compassion. By modeling His empathy and mercy we help to disarm the prosecutor and establish a different justice system.