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"He That Is Not With Me Is Against Me"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: In Chapter 12 of his Gospel, Matthew tells of a time when Jesus and His disciples go abroad on the Sabbath day and walk among the cornfields. The disciples are hungry; they are picking the grains of corn and eating them. The Pharisees, always eager to trap Jesus, point out that it is not lawful to do such an act on the Sabbath. Jesus replies by reminding them that David took bread from the altar on the Sabbath when he and his companions were hungry, and tells the Pharisees that mercy is more important than sacrifice. "The Son of man," He informs them, "is Lord even of the sabbath day." A man with a withered hand approaches and the Pharisees, in another effort to trap Jesus, ask Him whether it is lawful to heal on the Sabbath. Jesus points out that if any of them had a sheep which fell into a pit on the Sabbath, the sheep would be pulled out–and that surely a sheep is less important than a man. He then heals the cripple and sends him away rejoicing. The Pharisees are infuriated; their laws have been turned upon them in a most uncomfortable way, and it seems this opponent has an answer for everything they bring against Him. All too frequently His answers leave them with none of their own. They retire from His presence and hold a conference, trying to plan some way to destroy Him. While they are doing so, Jesus quietly goes forth among the multitudes that follow Him and as He heals them requests that they not make Him known. Matthew links this episode to one of the...

(The entire section is 560 words.)