Jesus walks in the cornfields

Jesus walks in the cornfields

Sabbath. Ears of Corn.

(The Gospel History, Section 39)

And it came to pass at that season that Jesus was going on the sabbath day through the cornfields; and his disciples were an hungred, and began as they went to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat, rubbing them in their hands. But certain of the Pharisees, when they saw it, said unto him, Behold, why do thy disciples that which it is not lawful to do on the sabbath day? And Jesus answering them said, Have ye not read even this, what David did, when he had need, and was an hungred, he and they that were with him; how he entered into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest, and did take and eat the shewbread, which it was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them that were with him, but only for the priests, and gave also to them that were with him? Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath day the priests in the temple profane the sabbath and are guiltless? But I say unto you that one greater than the temple is here. But if ye had known what this meaneth, I desire mercy and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: so that the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.

Jesus walks in the cornfields

(The Saviour of the World, Vol II Book II Poem XXI)

It was a Sabbath still and fair;
The cries of birds and beasts were prayer;
Sweet odours floating on the air

Ascended straight to God.

And Jesus through the fields of corn
Went, comforted, that Sabbath morn
For the good fruit the seed had borne—

Seed formed and reared by God.

And other harvest saw He shine
All golden in the light divine,
Harvest of souls—“for those are Mine”

All sown and reaped of God.

Disciples followed, gay and glad,
For who in harvest time were sad
When, filled her bounteous lap earth had

With the good gifts of God?

As children, plucked they as they went,
And rubbed the ears in sweet content;
With breath, the chaff abroad they sent,

And ate the bread of God.

But who be these who know no rest,
Who, wheresoe’er He goes, molest,
Nor ever turn from murderous quest

Of Him, the Bread of God?

What is amiss in this sweet walk,
This simple joy, this cheerful talk?
How find occasion here to balk

The purposes of God?

They note disciples rubbing ears
Between their palms; offence appears;
In childlike act their slavish fears

See broken Law of God.

They hurry past the simple men
To where Christ walks in front, and then,
They heap reproaches once again

On the meek Son of God.

“See now how thy disciples do
Unlawful act on Sabbath, too,
Both thou and they shall learn to rue

Offence ’gainst Law of God.”

And Jesus answering them, said,
“This Scripture story have ye read,
What David did, for he was led

To know the mind of God;—

“Anhungered he, and much in need
Of wherewithal his men to feed;
So to the Holy Tent made speed

And asked for bread of God:

“The shewbread He did take and eat
And gave to those, his warriors fleet,
(In days of Abiathar), meet,

This bread, for priests of God.

“Nay, priests in temple break the law;
On Sabbath day, they water draw
And offer sacrifice—no flaw

Find ye in priests of God.

“A greater than your priests is here;
Greater than temple, draweth near,
Speaketh in vain to stone-deaf ear

The secret things of God!

“Had ye but known what means this word.
Mercy, not sacrifice, the Lord
Preferreth; this will He reward,

Ye had not grieved your God.

“How can ye read this law benign—
The Sabbath is a gift divine
To man, that all his days may shine

In the sweet peace of God?

“For man, the Sabbath, not that he
Should go a bondsman, but be free
To walk the fields in holy glee

And hymn the praise of God.

“Lord of the Sabbath is the Son,
And in His righteous reign, begun
E’en now, all men shall joyful run

Together to praise God!”

St. Matthew xii. 1-8;
St. Mark ii. 23-28;
St. Luke vi. 1-5;
1 Samuel xxi. 3-6;
Numbers xxviii. 9;
Hosea vi. 6