God walks in the Garden with Adam. They fellowship, discussing and enjoying the beauties and varieties of God’s creation. Adam proudly relates the names he has given to the different animals, and how he has joyfully worked to tend through arrangement and cultivation. If this could only go on forever.
Jesus walks in the field with his disciples. They fellowship, forgetting for a moment that they live in a sin-cursed world. Their progress is soon interrupted by the critical questioning of the religious-types: “Why do you do what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” This is not the first attempt at death-by-a-thousand-questions. It won’t be the last. It seems like these attacks will go on forever.
The first instance is an unhindered fellowship in a good creation. The second is an uphill discipleship on the road to redemption. This second road, our road, is marked by conflict and persecution, but also by peace and hope.
Jesus directs attention to David on-the-run from the passing-away administration of Saul in 1 Samuel 21. It is a cruel and desperate existence. He asks for, and receives, the holy bread which only the priests were allowed to eat. Why is this permitted? When the law enforcement official breaks the speed-limit, he is fulfilling his calling. When the boss gives away his product for free, it is generosity. When God’s Anointed steps into the room, the room bends to his will. When the Creator walks in the field, any day, Sabbath or not, all is for His pleasure and purposes, shared with those who are with him. When disciples walk in fellowship and mission with their Creator and Redeemer, there are no outside accusations that pertain. When God is pleased in the Garden, any supposed violation of law is a contradiction of terms.
Granted, in this mean-time, the fellowship/mission of Jesus’ disciples is flawed. Our hearts are tested and exposed by God’s Spirit, using the blade and burn of the law to cut and cauterize our sinful hearts. But remember, it is this same Spirit who facilitates that fellowship/mission with/of Jesus. That is His goal, and ours, as we are Spirit-led.
Jesus, the One and Only, teaches different than us (Mk 1:22).
Listen and learn.
He does not merely counsel; He cures (Mk 1:27).
Seek his transforming power from the inside out.
He forgives sins (Mk 2:5).
Receive His forgiveness.
He touches what is diseased (Mk 1:41), and eats with the unclean (Mk 2:15).
Hold out your hand, and invite him to your life.
He accepts the rude and crude into his retinue (Mk 1:16-20; 2:14).