But I say unto you
Who Christ knew would be ready to object, as above, and therefore prevents them, by saying,
that in this place is one greater than the temple;
meaning himself, who was the Lord and Proprietor of the temple, and in his human nature the antitype of it; see ( John 2:19 ) and was infinitely more sacred than that. Some copies read (meizon) , "something greater"; referring either to the human nature of Christ, in which the Godhead dwells bodily, and so infinitely greater than the temple; or to the health of his disciples, which was in danger, through hunger: or to the ministry of the apostles, which, by satisfying nature, they were more capable of performing; either of which was of more moment than the sacrifices and service of the temple. Christ's argument is, that if the temple, and the service of it, excused the priests from blame, in doing things in it on the sabbath day, which otherwise might not be done; then much more might his presence, who was greater than the temple, excuse his disciples from blame in this action of rubbing and eating the ears of corn; which was done to satisfy hunger, and to render them the more capable of performing their ministerial function; and which was of more importance than the service of the priests.