21st Week After Pentecost – Saturday

 








Today’s readings, followed by a few pastoral & personal thoughts.

 2 Corinthians 3:12-18 Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech: 13 And not as Moses, which put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: 14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which veil is done away in Christ. 15 But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart. 16 Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away. 17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

 

Luke 6:1-10 And it came to pass on the second sabbath after the first, that he went through the corn fields; and his disciples plucked the ears of corn, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands. 2 And certain of the Pharisees said unto them, Why do ye that which is not lawful to do on the sabbath days? 3 And Jesus answering them said, Have ye not read so much as this, what David did, when himself was an hungred, and they which were with him; 4 How he went into the house of God, and did take and eat the shewbread, and gave also to them that were with him; which it is not lawful to eat but for the priests alone? 5 And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath. 6 And it came to pass also on another sabbath, that he entered into the synagogue and taught: and there was a man whose right hand was withered. 7 And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him. 8 But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth. 9 Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it? 10 And looking round about upon them all, he said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other.

 

 

2 Corinthians 3:12-14 Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech: 13 And not as Moses, which put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: 14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which veil is done away in Christ.

 

The Apostle’s plain speech makes it very clear that the OT taught the same principles as the New, but not understood as such because “their minds were blinded”. With the coming of Christ, of whom we read yesterday: “are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col 2:3), the veil was lifted.

 

One should rightly ask: if the message was the same from Old to New, how did the coming of Christ bring about more understanding? As always, the answer concerns morality. The God-man came to teach us and enable us to become moral. As a man becomes good, the “veil” is progressively lifted from his eyes.

 

2 Corithinans 3:17-18 17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord

 

This liberty which the Apostle speaks of was promised by the Son: If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed! (John 8:36)  Just before this, our Lord told us that “Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin” (John 8:34). The word servant may also be rendered “slave” (it is the Greek word ?????? , “doulos”). The Spirit of the Lord, when He dwells in a man, brings about liberty, that is, the freedom to choose morally and correctly.  

 

This promise is the core of the “Good News”. Through Christ, and with much labor, we will become able to be truly, in every way free.

 

However, this freedom does not come all at once. The Apostle also said: “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.“  (1 Cor 3:12)

 

 

Luke 6:1-2 And it came to pass on the second sabbath after the first, that he went through the corn fields; and his disciples plucked the ears of corn, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands. 2 And certain of the Pharisees said unto them, Why do ye that which is not lawful to do on the sabbath days?

 

The day being described is Saturday, which was always a Sabbath day in the Jewish calendar. It is the “second after the first”, because “Sabbath” also means rest, and was a generic term for any Feast day. If a feast fell on a Friday, Saturday would therefore be the “second sabbath after the first”.

The Pharisees were complaining because work was forbidden on the Sabbath, and they interpreted the disciples gleaning of grain as “work”.

 

Luke 6:3-4  3 And Jesus answering them said, Have ye not read so much as this, what David did, when himself was an hungred, and they which were with him; 4 How he went into the house of God, and did take and eat the shewbread, and gave also to them that were with him; which it is not lawful to eat but for the priests alone?

 

The “shewbread” was bread made of the finest flour, and placed on the holy table in the temple:

“And thou shalt take fine flour, and bake twelve cakes thereof: two tenth deals shall be in one cake.  (6)  And thou shalt set them in two rows, six on a row, upon the pure table before the LORD.” (Lev 24:5-6)

 

This bread was renewed every Sabbath, and the old bread was eaten by the priests only. (Lev 24:5-9).

 

The incident our Lord refers to is this:

 

“Now therefore what is under thine hand? give me five loaves of bread in mine hand, or what there is present.  (4)  And the priest answered David, and said, There is no common bread under mine hand, but there is hallowed bread; if the young men have kept themselves at least from women.  (5)  And David answered the priest, and said unto him, Of a truth women have been kept from us about these three days, since I came out, and the vessels of the young men are holy, and the bread is in a manner common, yea, though it were sanctified this day in the vessel.  (6)  So the priest gave him hallowed bread: for there was no bread there but the shewbread, that was taken from before the LORD, to put hot bread in the day when it was taken away.” (1Sa 21:3-6)

 

Of course, as bread on an altar, the showbread was a type of Christ, and pointed to the Eucharist.

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

The Explanation of the Holy Gospel according to St Luke, by Blessed Theophylact, published by Chrysostom Press – http://www.chrysostompress.org/. ALL FOUR BOOKS ARE HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

 

 

Priest Seraphim Oct 26/Nov 8 2008.                                                                                              St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas

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