What do you believe is the significance of Matthew 12:2-7? Can I conclude that God might accept people even though they are not completely following his word accurately? -- Jaxon

In this passage, the disciples of Jesus are violating the traditions of the elders. Four separate prohibitions in the Mishnah -- Jewish traditions written down c.200 AD -- are being broken, but not the law itself. Still, the principle that "man is not made for the Sabbath" does speak to us, and possibly affords a glimpse at God's generous and un-legalistic nature. However, there is nothing in this passage to suggest that one can disregard the word of God with impunity.

Matthew 12:27 is another passage in the chapter showing that spiritual experience, even miraculous activity, does not validate one's salvation. This reminds the reader of 7:21-23. The key: build upon the word of God (7:24-27), not the word of man (7:15-20), which generally seeks to broaden the narrow way (7:13-14) rather than strive to enter at the narrow gate.

Mark 9:38-39 and Luke 9:49-50, on the other hand, suggest that God works through others, even if they are not "in our camp." We will leave final judgment as to these people's salvation to the Lord.

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