A deeper look into Matthew 12:5-7.
- …Or have you not read in the law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are blameless? Yet I say to you that in this place there is One greater than the temple. But if you had known what this means, I desire mercy and not sacrifice, you would not have condemned the guiltless
It was not Yeshua’s disciples who were lawless; that is, they were not disloyal and covenant breakers with Yehovah. In fact, just the reverse. The Pharisaic Religious authorities and the Sadducean Cohanim in the Jerusalem Temple were the true lawless ones. The whole lot of them were effectively illegitimate and Yeshua had something to say about it.
The Pharisees were illegitimate as a religious separatist movement of the Jewish nation. They began ruling the nation in the late 1st Century B.C.E. following the years of the post-Hashmonaim period of the Maccabees as Judaism was becoming more and more Hellenistic. The Pharisees began to establish themselves as the only Jewish national-religious body authorized to interpret and teach the Mosaic Law.
As for the Sadducean Priests, they too were illegitimate. They earned a reputation among the Jewish people as Temple usurpers through their political appointments to the office of Rulers and Judges NOT divinely approved from the House of Tzadok through Aaron, the brother of Moses. It was this House of Tzadok priesthood who preserved so many of the Dead Sea Scrolls for us.
Yeshua insinuated that the Pharisees took on a spiritual role that was not theirs to take. And as far as the Sadducean priesthood was concerned, they had no authorization or rights to function as the nation’s Judges and to eat from the Temple sanctuary table loaves of bread referred to as Lechem haPanim (the Showbread).
To appreciate the Truth of this lesson from Yeshua one must turn to the story of the Cana’an woman from Tzur and Sidon in Matthew 15:21-28.
- …“It is not good to take the Son’s Bread and throw to the little dogs…Yes Master, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table”
Also, we must look at Acts 23:1-5.
- Then Paul said to him, “God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! For you sit to judge me according to the law, and do you command me to be struck contrary to the law?”
Also, we must look at Acts 4:1-3 and 18-20.
- Now as they (Peter and John) spoke to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came upon them, being greatly disturbed that they taught the people and preached in Yeshua the resurrection from the dead…But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge.”