LORD OF THE SABBATH
Shepherd God, quiet my racing pulse, restore my jaded spirit, and lead me beside still waters, I pray.
Read Mark 2:23–28
Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath
23 One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain. 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.”
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat makes Sunday special for you? Thank God for His gift of this day.
I was fascinated, when visiting a hotel in Jerusalem, to discover that one of the lifts was a ‘Sabbath elevator’. On Saturdays, it automatically stopped at every floor, so that Orthodox Jews could avoid breaking the Sabbath by pressing the button for the desired floor. A similar desire motivated the Pharisees of Jesus’ day – to avoid any kind of work on the Sabbath, including picking corn and rubbing it between one’s hands to remove the husks (Exodus 34:21). If Jesus was a great teacher, why was He allowing His followers to break the Sabbath in this way (23,24)?
The Old Testament placed great importance on Sabbath observance (Isaiah 58:13,14) but Exodus 16:29 suggests that a day of rest is a gift from God. Jesus cites the time when David, fleeing from Saul, is so hungry that the priest in the sanctuary gives him consecrated bread (25,26). The priest is willing to be flexible; desperate measures at desperate times (1 Samuel 21:1–6).
For the second time in this Gospel, Jesus refers to Himself as the Son of Man (see Monday’s note). On His own authority He declares the Sabbath to be made for man, not man for the Sabbath (27,28). Such rules are of less importance now that the Promised One from heaven has come to bring in the kingdom of God.
Do you practice setting aside time for rest? Although we are not ‘required’ to observe the Sabbath, God still plans and intends for His people to rest.
Lord Jesus, as God’s kingdom appeared in You, a new day dawned, and many things were seen in a new light. Give me eyes of faith to see Your work in my world.
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