Unlimited: The Lord of the Sabbath
Oct 26, 2020 856
One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grain fields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?”
He answered, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need? 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.”Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So, the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath” (Mark 2:6–12, NIV).
One of the issues that causes controversy between Jesus and the Pharisees over and over again is their different understanding of the Sabbath. The passage is the first time this issue comes up in the gospel of Mark.
One Sabbath, the disciples were hungry. So, as they walked, they picked some heads of grain. They were chewing on them to kill their hunger.
The Pharisees had all kinds of human rules about what you weren’t allowed to do on the Sabbath day, and they were always looking to point out anything that Jesus or his disciples did wrong.
So, they asked Jesus why was it that his disciples were breaking the law on the Sabbath.
When Jesus responded, he didn’t say that the Sabbath didn’t matter.
Instead, Jesus told the Pharisees that they didn’t understand the true purpose of the Sabbath: it wasn’t so that humanity should be slaves of the Sabbath, but so that the Sabbath should meet humanity’s needs.
The Pharisees put their own legalistic rules above the mercy and compassion.
But Jesus went further. He told them that he himself was the Lord of the Sabbath. In other words, if he wasn’t concerned with what his disciples were doing, it was no business of the Pharisees to be worried themselves.
– Eliezer Gonzalez
Eli’s Reflection: Like the Pharisees, we often make all sorts of invalid excuses about why we shouldn’t help others. They can be social excuses, political excuses, or even religious excuses. Think carefully about your own attitudes to the needy.