Legalism Versus Love
Jesus has dealt with accusations from the scribes and Pharisees about forgiveness and blasphemy, eating and healing on the Sabbath (2:6-7; 2:24; 3:1-6), but never has he responded like this. The good shepherd is all about feeding the hungry, teaching the ignorant, loving the outcast, and being patient with his culpably dense disciples, but he is also willing to rebuke the wolves. He doesn’t just disagree; he exposes the sin of legalism, of leaving the commandments of God for the traditions of men. But in doing so Jesus reveals the goodness of the God’s law as a freeing and fulfilling opportunity to love.