Jesus once again teaches the priority of the law of mercy over the Sabbath. What is interesting is that the teachers of the law often debated about which law might take precedence when two came into conflict. For example, what if a circumcision (to be done on the 8th day) fell on the Sabbath? Unfortunately the Pharisees were so set on their own interpretation that Jesus’ understanding was enough to get Him killed!
The crowds continue to come to see Jesus, and there are so many that He casts off from shore so that He can get away from them! He quiets the demons again even though they are proclaiming the truth. He doesn’t want them casting doubt on His ministry, nor does He need the notoriety that could come because of their witness. He’s having enough trouble moving around and teaching!
Jesus chooses 12 from those following him for a special ministry. They are “apostles,” ones who are being sent out. They are going to preach and teach, and they will prove their authority by casting out demons and healing (Mark 6:13). What about today? Are there apostles? I believe that God does still heal and that demons can still be cast out, but I do not believe that there are individuals who have that assigned role anymore. An apostle had a specific ministry for a specific time with specific gifts, and that is why we don’t see apostles today.
2 Corinthians 12:12 “Indeed, the signs of an apostle were performed among you with great perseverance by signs and wonders and powerful deeds.”
1 Corinthians 9:1 “Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord?”
For contemplation: We’ve seen it two days in a row now, so we should think about it. How would our lives be different if we practiced the priority of mercy?