"Lord of the Sabbath"
What You Need To Know:
“Unlawful” is a dramatic episode streaming on VidAngel with many heartfelt and sometime poignant lessons. It stresses prayer, forgiveness, overcoming sin through repentance and faith, and remaining strongly committed to God the Father and Jesus. The “Unlawful” episode of THE CHOSEN also imparts several lessons about the true meaning of the Sabbath. “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath,” Jesus says. “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” MOVIEGUIDE® advises a light caution due to a tavern scene where Mary Magdalene drinks and gambles with men.
The “Unlawful” episode of THE CHOSEN streaming on VidAngel opens with a pre-credit sequence where David, on the run from King Saul, asks the high priest for food for himself and his men. The high priest has pity on him and gives David some consecrated bread for him and his men.
After the opening credits, Simon Peter and Matthew wake up to resume their search for Mary Magdalene in the city. Mary, after her encounter with the demoniac, begins to revert to her old way of life as guilt weighs on her conscience.
Meanwhile, the other disciples learn of John the Baptist’s imprisonment by King Herod. The previous episode had ended with Jesus sorrowfully saying goodbye to John the Baptist, who was headed off to Jerusalem to confront Herod, implying that Jesus knows of the fate that will befall his cousin in Herod’s palace.
Peter and Matthew finally find Mary Magdalene and urge her to return. Back at the camp, Mary sees Jesus, while His mother watches. She tells Jesus she’s so ashamed for walking away. She says she doesn’t think she can live up to the moral purity that God demands. “You don’t have to,” he says. “I just want your heart. The Father just wants your heart. Give Us that, which you already have, and the rest will come in time.” Mary says she’s sorry, and Jesus forgives her.
Meanwhile, Thomas is concerned about the lack of food rations, so he informs Jesus of the situation. Jesus tells him they have enough food for the night, but they should pray to His Father about their situation before they leave early in the morning.
The next day, Jesus and His disciples go to a synagogue in a small town. They enter as the priest reads the Torah. Jesus walks to a man who sits in a corner as he listens to the priest. Jesus begins to speak with the man. The priest becomes offended with Jesus and asks him what he’s doing. Jesus takes hold of the man’s withered hand to heal him. Displeased, the priest tells Jesus He can’t heal on the Sabbath. To which Jesus replies that if a man finds his sheep stuck in the mud on the Sabbath, would he not reach out his hand and help the sheep. Jesus heals the man before he and his disciples are kicked out of the synagogue.
After leaving the synagogue, Jesus and His disciples are walking in a field of wheat outside the town. Forgetting that it’s the Sabbath, a hungry Simon Peter starts to eat some of the grain on the stalks. He spits it out when he realizes what he’s doing, but Jesus tells him and the disciples that it’s okay to start eating. The two priests come rushing out of the town and admonish Jesus and the disciples for picking crops in the Sabbath. However, Jesus turns the tables on them, and reminds them of what he taught them in the synagogue. He also reminds them that David was given the consecrated Sabbath bread for he and his men to eat. “If you had known what this means, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless,” Jesus says.
“The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath,” Jesus also tells them, adding that “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”
Jesus’ teachings about the Sabbath add more fodder for the Pharisees to bring against charges against Him in the Sanhedrin.
The ending of the “Unlawful” episode is taken from two biblical episodes reported in Mark 2:23-28 and Mark 3:1-6 (see also Luke 6:1-11). They express four important teachings in Jesus Christ’s teaching about the meaning of the Sabbath, that 1) God demands mercy, not sacrifice; 2) “the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27); 3) “the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath” (Mark 2:28); and, 4) it is more lawful to do good on the Sabbath, than to do evil, and more lawful to save life than to let life be destroyed (Mark 3:4 and Luke 6:9). By identifying the Son of Man as Lord of the Sabbath, Jesus is actually saying that He is God, the Lord of the Sabbath.
The “Unlawful” episode also stresses prayer, forgiveness, overcoming sin through repentance and faith, and remaining strongly committed to God the Father and Jesus. The depiction of Mary Magdalene’s struggle to forgive herself and know her worth is poignant. MOVIEGUIDE® advises a light caution due to a tavern scene where Mary Magdalene drinks and gambles with men. Also, there’s one strange, anachronistic, politically correct line of dialogue where one of the Apostles says that John the Baptist teaches that money is a “man-made construct.” This sounds like something Karl Marx would say. John the Baptist actually didn’t talk about money in the Bible, but he does mention sharing food and clothing with the poor and needy.