By: Steve Negley

Posted: March 9, 2023

Category: Daily Devotional

Matthew 12:1-8

12 At that time Jesus went through the grain fields on the Sabbath; his disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. When the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.” He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? How he entered the house of God, and they[a] ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him or his companions to eat, but only for the priests? Or have you not read in the law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple break the Sabbath and yet are guiltless? I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.

The opening line of this passage is one of the points of the story. “His disciples were hungry.” Then, Jesus gets accosted by the Pharisees over sabbath law, and the discussion goes back to King David and what it means that “God desires mercy more than sacrifice.” There’s more than a mouthful here. But, as we are walking the trails with Jesus during the season of Lent, maybe we should just stop with the first line. The disciples of Jesus were hungry, and He defended their appropriation of food.

We humans get hungry. And God in human flesh blessed the act of eating. Take care of yourself today. When you are hungry — eat.


O God, who loved us enough to come in human form, thank you for blessing the everyday tasks in our lives. You know that we sometimes hunger. That’s how you made us. And you want us to satisfy that hunger with food. Thanks, in Christ. Amen.