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Luke 6:3-5 meaning...

This passage recounts an incident when Jesus and His disciples were walking through grain fields on the Sabbath day. As they walked, the disciples plucked heads of grain, rubbed them in their hands, and ate the kernels. This action led to a confrontation with some Pharisees who questioned the legality of what they were doing on the Sabbath.

  • Key Points:

David's Example: In response to the Pharisees' objection, Jesus refers to an incident involving King David. He reminds them that when David and his companions were hungry, they entered the house of God and ate the showbread, which was reserved for the priests. Jesus uses this historical example to illustrate that there are times when human need and compassion take precedence over strict legalistic interpretations.

Lord of the Sabbath: Jesus concludes His response by declaring that "the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath." This statement asserts His authority over the Sabbath, indicating that He has the ultimate say in how the Sabbath should be understood and observed.

  • Significance:

Compassion Over Legalism: Jesus emphasizes the principle that compassion for human need should take precedence over rigid legalistic interpretations of religious laws. This aligns with His teachings throughout the Gospels, emphasizing love, mercy, and grace.

Davidic Precedent: The reference to David highlights the idea that even revered figures from Israel's history sometimes acted in ways that appeared to circumvent religious rules for the sake of immediate needs. This challenges legalistic interpretations.

Authority of Jesus: By declaring Himself as the "lord of the Sabbath," Jesus asserts His divine authority and His role as the ultimate interpreter of God's will, even regarding the Sabbath.

  • Application:

Prioritizing Compassion: It encourages believers to prioritize compassion and empathy for the needs of others over rigid legalism. This aligns with Jesus' broader teachings about loving one's neighbor.

Understanding Jesus' Authority: The passage underscores the authority of Jesus as Lord over all aspects of life, including religious observance. It prompts believers to seek His guidance and wisdom in matters of faith and practice.

Freedom from Legalism: It serves as a reminder that faith should not be reduced to a set of rules but should be lived out with love, compassion, and a deep understanding of God's grace.


Matthew 12:8: "For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath." This verse, found in the Gospel of Matthew, echoes the declaration of Jesus' authority over the Sabbath.

Micah 6:8: "He has shown you, O man, what is good. What does Yahweh require of you, but to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?" This Old Testament verse aligns with the emphasis on compassion and justice in Jesus' teachings.

Luke 6:3-5 illustrates a confrontation between Jesus and the Pharisees over Sabbath observance. Jesus uses the example of David to emphasize the priority of compassion over legalism and asserts His authority as the Lord of the Sabbath. This passage underscores the importance of understanding Jesus' authority and prioritizing compassion in matters of faith.

Luke 6:3-5. Jesus, answering them, said, “Haven’t you read what David did when he was hungry, he, and those who were with him; how he entered into God’s house, and took and ate the show bread, and gave also to those who were with him, which is not lawful to eat except for the priests alone?” He said to them, “The Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”


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