Daily Spirit & Word: 664: Jesus Is The LORD of the Sabbath.
“The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath”
Good morning my friends, we’ve had a wonderful few days. My wife Julie and I are looking after our little two year old grandson Karamoko. We’d normally have all three, but the older children have school. Still our daughter needs a little rest from Karamoko, she’s 39 and a bit weeks pregnant, gets tired and needed a break. He’s FULL of LIFE. When you observe a two year old, you wonder how just a few mouthfuls of porridge can produce so much energy.
On Sunday, I was preaching on the following verses from Mark’s Gospel, Jesus own disciples needed some energy, but I’m sure they didn’t know the resultant storm of opposition from evil forces that was brewing behind the scenes, that picking a few ears of corn would cause.
Mark 2:23-28 (NIV)
23 One Sabbath Jesus was going through the cornfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some ears of corn.
24 The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?”
25 He answered, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need?
26 In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.”
27 Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
Walking Through Cornfields:
Have you ever been in the countryside and walked through a field with ripe corn? It’s an amazing feeling; it feels like you are in a sea of very long grass, with the wind blowing the corn seems to move like waves.
As Jesus, His disciples and some Pharisees walked through, some of Jesus’ disciple begin picking some ears of corn.
The Pharisees Notice:
As stated last week, the Pharisees were the religious people of Jesus day. They tried to live according to very strict religious code of conduct, and they expected every ‘good’ Jew to do the same. Whenever someone didn’t live according to their rules and regulations, they pointed the finger, and tried to impose their code upon everyone.
The Pharisees noticed that Jesus’ disciples were picking corn, and pointed out that it was against the LAW.
Was it against the law? Were Jesus disciple being unrighteous and unholy?
Let’s looks and see what the LAW actually said about the Sabbath:
Exodus 35:2 (NIV) “For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day shall be your holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the LORD. Whoever does any work on it must be put to death.”
Exodus 20:8-11 (NIV)
8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
9 Six days you shall labour and do all your work,
10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates.
11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
On the surface, it would seem the Disciples were indeed being disobedient; after all picking corn is harvesting, right?
The Pharisees had expanded God’s Law:
They interpreted what God had given to mean; 39 Sabbath Prohibitions. Remember, these are just some of the Pharisee’s rules and regulations for a holy life.
For a Pharisee and a “good Jew” it was prohibited to do;
- Binding sheaves
- Shearing wool
- Washing wool
- Beating wool
- Dyeing wool
- Making two loops
- Weaving two threads
- Separating two threads
- Sewing stitches
- Scraping hide
- Marking hides
- Cutting hide to shape
- Writing two or more letters
- Erasing two or more letters
- Extinguishing a fire
- Kindling a fire
- Putting the finishing touch on an object
- Transporting an object between a private domain and the public domain, or for a distance of 4 cubits within the public domain.
What the Pharisees had done was identify what they deemed to be WORK: Made a list and said, “We can’t do these things”. Modern Jews follow similar guidelines, because they are living according to the LAW: Not the Spirit which gives life.
The Letter of the Law Kills.
The Spirit gives it life.
NOTE: Remember what Jesus said, “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light” Matthew 11:30. He was referring to how the Christian life can be lived in the power of the Spirit rather than on rules and regulations.
Then Jesus Disciples: Come along and pick some corn on the Sabbath.
Jesus directed the Objecting Pharisees to the Scriptures:
The Beginning of the Year 2016: Is a good time to remember what Jesus was doing here.
Whenever a question arises as to the practice of our faith, we must go along what what God has revealed in His Word. The Bible warns us “Not to add or take away” from what has been given by God in the Bible.
Jesus reminds them about King David and his companions who were hungry, and ate the consecrated bread. Jesus reminds them, It was lawful only for priests to eat this bread, but David and his companions were hungry, and because there was no other food, the Consecrated bread was the only food at hand, their hunger overrides.
However, this leaves us with a Question:
Was Kind David breaking God’s Law?
Answer, Jesus was asking the Pharisees to do a Bible Study: to Check-out King David.
David had assured the Priest that he and his companions were ritually clean; They had abstained from being with women for over three days. (Why that makes a man unclean? You’ll have to do a deeper Bible study to find out, but that was the requirement that David and his companions was asked to fulfil by the Priest, before he would give him the consecrated bread of God’s presence, the shawbread.)
1 Samuel 21:3-6 (NIV) Kind David Takes The Shawbread.
3 Now then, what have you to hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever you can find.”
4 But the priest answered David, “I don’t have any ordinary bread to hand; however, there is some consecrated bread here—provided the men have kept themselves from women.”
5 David replied, “Indeed women have been kept from us, as usual whenever I set out. The men’s things are holy even on missions that are not holy. How much more so today!”
6 So the priest gave him the consecrated bread, since there was no bread there except the bread of the Presence that had been removed from before the LORD and replaced by hot bread on the day it was taken away.
To discover more about the Shawbread: Read: Leviticus 24:5-9 (NIV)
5 “Take fine flour and bake twelve loaves of bread, using two-tenths of an ephah for each loaf.
6 Set them in two rows, six in each row, on the table of pure gold before the LORD.
7 Along each row put some pure incense as a memorial portion to represent the bread and to be an offering made to the LORD by fire.
8 This bread is to be set out before the LORD regularly, Sabbath after Sabbath, on behalf of the Israelites, as a lasting covenant. 9 It belongs to Aaron and his sons, who are to eat it in a holy place, because it is a most holy part of their regular share of the offerings made to the LORD by fire.”
This shows us that ONLY Aaron and his sons (The Levite Priests after him) were allowed to eat this bread.
The Pharisees revered King David: Jesus asking them a question about the great king’s righteousness was not to throw them into doubt, but to show them, there are times when God’s Law is not as simple as ‘keeping rules and regulations’, it’s a matter of the heart. How pure a person is. How much a person is devoted to the LORD.
Jesus was most likely arguing; “If Kind David could eat the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for the Priests to eat, then men who are hungry on the Sabbath, whilst they have the LORD of the Sabbath with them, can also pic and eat a few grains of corn.”
Jesus was teaching them and us, the Sabbath was never meant to be a SET of RULES: But a way of life.
He said, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath”.
It was meant to be a day, devoted to the LORD. A Holy Day and a Day of REST from their labours.
Yes God had said, “Do NO WORK on the Sabbath, it is a Holy Day, a Day to devote yourselves to Him”.
It was also to remind them about CREATION: How the LORD had made it in SIX DAYS and rested on the SEVENTH.
When you consider the Creator of all things, that the LORD made the heavens and the earth, you’ll get a much greater perspective on who actually provides for you, not the labour of your hands, but the Lord God almighty: The LORD of the Sabbath.
But the Pharisees had become legalistic; they were looking at everyone else, instead of focusing upon worship of the LORD.
They were looking to ensure that people kept their rules and regulations, rather than worrying about their own personal devotion and worship. They thought of themselves as a kind of holy police force.
Jesus taught: The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.
What did Jesus mean?
It seems to me that Jesus is teaching us; there are certain times when RULES can be broken. (I.e. Work on the Sabbath: Harvesting. Work on the Sabbath; Healing). When there is NEED for things in life, like food. Or MERCY needs to be shown or exercised for someone.
We’ll see this again next week in: A Work of Mercy on the Sabbath: Jesus healing a man. Mark 3.
Here, picking some corn on the Sabbath?: is a Work of Necessity it’s NOT Harvesting: Jesus Disciples were mainly fishermen, not farmers. Because they were travelling around with the Messiah, they were going about the LORD’S HOLY WORK. (King David said, “His work was Holy”). They were hungry, NECESSITY overrides ritual and regulation. Just as much as mercy does, next week. Mark 3.
An Injured Pigeon:
After being a Christian for about two years, I’d become quite legalistic about getting to church on time. I never wanted to be late to Church on a Sunday. So we always set out early to walk the mile up hill to church. Five kids in tow.
One day just along the road from our house, we spotted a pigeon tat had been hit by a car and it’s wing was broken. My wife, Julie said, “Oh look at that poor darling creature, go and get it and we’ll take it to the vet” I protested, “Julie, we haven’t got time, we’ll be late for church”… Well, you can guess what she said, “What’s more important, getting to church or doing good?” I chased that bird for about ten minutes and finally caught it. Once in my hands I thought to myself, “What am I going to do with you now, on a Sunday?”… I took it to Brian and Sheilah’s house, our neighbours who were always very kind to animals. It turned out, we were not late for church. But I learned a valuable lesson from my wife that day.
Do GOOD on the Sabbath when God gives you the opportunity.
Don’t worry about your rules, even your own precious rules.
“The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”
Yes it’s important to set aside one day a week as HOLY to the LORD.
Every day for the Christian is a SABBATH DAY: Because we’ve got the LORD with us.
Every day is HOLY for the Christian: However, it’s good to follow the Bible practice of setting aside one day a week to worship the Lord. God set us an example; if it’s good enough for God, surely it’s good for us to rest one day a week from our labour.
Jesus Is LORD of the Sabbath:
The Pharisees thought they KNEW the LAW of God: But it’s like Jesus is telling them, “NO, you don’t really understand God’s Law, you don’t get it. I do, because I AM the LORD of the SABBATH.” i.e. “I’m LORD who gave the law, so I know what I was talking about when I gave that Law to Moses”…. Jesus is the LORD of the Sabbath and all the other Commands of God. He alone understands the full meaning of God’s LAW. That’s why Jesus also corrected their understanding of; Murder and Adultery. (i.e. hatred in the heart and lust in the heart). Jesus is the LORD of the Sabbath too.
NOTES: Remember that this section of Mark’s Gospel followed questions about FASTING, and is followed by them looking to see if Jesus would again ‘break’ the Sabbath laws in Mark 3. Opposition to Jesus was building in the hearts of men, but we must also remember that our battle is not against flesh and blood.
NOTES: The Sabbath was not meant to be a day of privation: God provided double the Manna for the Holy Day whilst the Israelites were wandering through the desert. Normally the Manna would only last just one day, they were to gather just enough, if they gathered too much it rotted with maggots. However, a miracle took place on the sixth day, that manna lasted long enough for two whole days and didn’t rot. That shouts out to me about God’s amazing hand of provision for a holy life, and that He wants us to remember, who it is the provides us with everything.
Our God IS and AWESOME God.
He reigns in Heaven and Earth.
He’s the CREATOR of ALL.
He gives us LIFE and Breath.
Praise HIM every DAY.
Jesus said, “I have come that you may have life in abundance” John 10:10.
Bible References To The Sabbath Day:
Genesis 2:2-3; Exodus 16:23-29; Exodus 20:8-11; Exodus 31:12-17; Exodus 35:2-3; Leviticus 16:31; Leviticus 19:3; Leviticus 19:29-30; Leviticus 23; Leviticus 24:8; Leviticus 25:2-6; Leviticus 26:2; Leviticus 26:34-35; Leviticus 26:43; Numbers 15:32-36; Numbers 28-29; Deuteronomy 5:12-14; 2 Kings 4:23; 2 Kings 11:5-9; 1 Chronicles 9:32; 1 Chronicles 23:31; 2 Chronicles 2:4; 2 Chronicles 8:13; 2 Chronicles 23:4-8; 2 Chronicles 31:3; 2 Chronicles 36:21; Nehemiah ; Nehemiah 10:31-33; Nehemiah 13:15-22; Psalms ; Isaiah 1:13; Isaiah 56:2-7; Isaiah 58:13-14; Isaiah 66:22-23; Jeremiah 17:21-27; Lamentations 2:6; Ezekiel 20:12-24; Ezekiel 22:8; Ezekiel 22:26-31; Ezekiel 23:38; Ezekiel 44:24; Ezekiel 45:17; Ezekiel 46:1-12; Hosea 2:11; Amos 8:5; Matthew 12:1-12; Matthew 24:20-21; Matthew 28:1; Mark 1:21; Mark 2:23- 28; Mark 3:2-4; Mark 6:2; Mark 15:42; Mark 16:1; Luke 4:16; Luke 4:31; Luke 6:1-9; Luke 13:10-16; Luke 14:1-5; Luke 23:50-24:1; John 5:9-18; John 7:22-23; John ; John 19:31; Acts 1:12; Acts 13:14; Acts 13:27; Acts 13:42-43; Acts 15:21; Acts 16:13; Acts 17:2; Acts 18:4; Romans 14:5-6; Galatians 4:10-11; Colossians 2:14-17; Hebrews 4:1-11