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Lord of the sabbath

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As we continue with Mark we continue to see Jesus interacting with everyday people and his dealings with the religious leaders of the day. If you remember from the last sermon we witnessed Jesus be questioned about why his disciples do not fast. His response clearly shows the group known as the pharisees had no clue Jesus was. The pharisees were supposed to be the “righteous one” these men were supposed to be the example of what the men of God should look like. They had the strictest interpretation of the law. Jesus tries to reveal to them the Kingdom of God had come calling himself the bride groom in vs 19 a title God gave him self in the OT. Then tells them the old lifeless way of trying to make yourself accepted by God will never mix with the true way of salvation. Turning from a system of rules to a person. He used analogy old wine in new wine skins and new piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. But they missed the teaching and the meaning of His message. We pick up her now in vs 23 of chapter 2 and we will conclude chapter 2 today. Read with me

Jesus walks through grainfields

We see Jesus and his disciples walking through some fields of grain on the sabbath day. The sabbath was one of the most distinctive elements of Judaism. The sabbath was a day of rest God Him self instructed for his people from the beginning of creation. The sabbath was the 6th day of the week which was Saturday. The observance of the sabbath became very problematic throughout the apostolic era, Mark here is recording Jesus pronouncements of the subject. So Jesus and his followers are walking through a field, they became hungry grabbed with their hands some wheat and ate it. The Pharisees saw this and pointed it out to Jesus. They said in verse 24 “look why are they doing what is not lawful on the sabbath”
Now we must point out The OT gave legal right for picking a little grain by hand from your neighbor’s field
Deuteronomy 23:25 ESV
If you go into your neighbor’s standing grain, you may pluck the ears with your hand, but you shall not put a sickle to your neighbor’s standing grain.
The OT of course forbade work on the sabbath
Exodus 20:8–11 ESV
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
Out of that command The scribes came up thirty nine actives that could be work and therefore prohibited the activity. The sabbath by this time became a crushing burden, a symbol of the galling religious bondage that had captured the nation of Israel. The 3rd on the list of prohibitions was reaping. These pharisees interpreted Jesus’s disciples walking through a field picking a few heads of grain because they were hungry as reaping!
The Pharisees hearts were cold and hard as we can clearly see. They were all filled puffed up with pride and had no regards for common people.

Jesus responds to the Pharisees

Jesus responds in vs 25 with a bit of rebuke he asks a counter question, “have you not read what David did, when he was in need and hungry, he and those who were with him?”
Take note of what Jesus said, they were in need and hungry- These are key elements to why Jesus pointed to the example.
This reference in recorded in the OT The “Consecrated bread” was twelve loaves of bread that were put on a table in the tabernacle each sabbath. This symbolized God’s presence and provision. Interesting Jesus calls him self the bread of life, and his name is Emmanuel God is with us
The event Jesus is referring to took place on a sabbath day.
David and his men were not priest, what they did was forbidden unlike what the disciples did with the heads of grain, Jesus is showing God’s heart when it comes to ceremonial law. Their actions were Justified because David and his men were on a mission anointed by God and they were Hungry.
Here Jesus set forth the basic principle, that human need should always take prescient over ceremonial laws.
Jesus used this example which God did not condemn, to show the pharisees very narrow interpretation of the law stopped and blocked God’s intention.

The true meaning of the sabbath

Jesus here attempts to reveal the true meaning of the sabbath. He said to them vs 27 “The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath. So the “son of man is lord even of the sabbath.
The sabbath was instituted by God for mankind’s benefit and refreshment. It was not designed to keep burdensome regulations pertaining to it.
Jesus makes a profound statement, The son of man is lord even of the sabbath. He here again invoke this title Son of man and if you remember. He aim was to challenge the people to decide who he truly was Just a man or THE MAN of ? By saying the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath HE makes it crystal clean, he’s saying He has sovereign Authority over the sabbath. He has made so many declarations of HIS deity as GOD in the flesh in just these first two chapters.
now what is our take away from what we have observed in this passage of scripture?


God has a heart for people in need, and God has compassion. God is more concerned with meeting the needs of people than he is with protecting religious tradition.
The spirit of the law was always to point to Christ. It was never to be a means to reach God or earn his love.
Keep watch of your heart. When dealing with people. Do you have compassion for those in need? Remember the Pharisees interpretation of the law kept them from meeting the needs of people. They thought they were doing God’s will by rebuking Jesus’s disciples not even caring they were hungry.
Remember the Sabbath day of rest was for man’s benefit and spiritual refreshment. Not a means for puffing up or gaining some sort of spiritual pride if you observe it or not
Keep a close watch on your interpretation of the word of God. Make sure you study it accurately, and remember you will be held accountable for the way you represented God to people. The text will speak for it self, you don’t need to come across as mean or cold. The text will give life or condem. That’s not our job.
Remember Jesus said he came for sinners not the righteous
Lets pray
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