Genesis 13, Matthew 12, Nehemiah 2, Acts 12

If you’re following the schedule, you should read these chapters today: Genesis 13, Matthew 12, Nehemiah 2, Acts 12. Click on any of those references to see all the passages in one long page on BibleGateway. If you can't do all the readings today, read Matthew 12, especially verses 1-14.

One of the key doctrines about Christ is what we call his active and passive obedience. His passive obedience refers to his death. He yielded his life to the will of God and died, receiving the penalties of the law on the cross. Christ’s active obedience, however, refers to his perfect, sinless life. Christ could be a substitute for sinners because he himself never sinned but, in fact, perfectly obeyed the law of God.

Here in Matthew 12, however, Christ’s seems to disobey the law. He and his disciples picked and ate grain which appears to be a violation of the commandment to “Remember the Sabbath day.” Remember that observing the Sabbath meant not working in any way. If Christ and the disciples did, in fact, break the Sabbath, then Christ was guilty of sin and did not achieve active obedience to the will of God.

  • So…, did Christ and the disciples sin in this instance? If so, why was their activity sinful or if not, why was it acceptable?
  • In verses 3-4 Christ cited two instances in scripture to defend himself against the charge of breaking the law. What point was he making in citing those examples?
  • Christ followed up this argument about the Sabbath with a healing on the Sabbath day in verses 9-13. What is the relationship between verses 1-8 and verses 9-13?
  • What scriptural principle did Christ appeal to in verses 11-12 to defend healing on the Sabbath?
  • What implications or applications does Christ’s example here in this passage have for believers like us? Is it acceptable sometimes to break God’s word? If so, what allows for that exception? Or, is something else going in here? 

Now for your thoughts: What stood out in your Bible reading for today? What questions do you have about what you read? What are your thoughts about what I wrote above? Post them in the comments below or on our Facebook page. And, feel free to answer and interact with the questions and comments of others. Have a great day; we'll talk scripture again tomorrow.