Pastor Kurt Gebhards covered Mark 2:23-28 in his sermon today:
Mark 2:23-28 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.”
Christians know that what is required of us is to love and worship God and love other people. The Pharisees worshipped the law more than they did God. They took God’s law and added to it and then they judged everyone on how they were keeping their law. Their hearts were filled with criticism because their hearts were filled with pride.
They spent much time spying on Jesus, and this passage is His response.
Sabbath is the Hebrew word for 7. God created the world in 6 days and rested on the 7th day. He gave the 4th commandment which said we should remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy. Moses said we shouldn’t work or be burdened.
The Pharisees added 39 laws on top of this describing what people might do that would be considered work or a burden. Meals had to be made specifically for the Sabbath ahead of time as they weren’t allowed to cook. They weren’t even allowed to carry anything heavier than a dried fig. All of this they made up. And it made them judgmental, critical and bound to the law. The law of their making.
God’s law was given to show us we could never keep it on our own and so point the need to Jesus. In turning to Him and accepting His gift of salvation through the repentance of our sins and His work on the cross we are free!
Jesus used the illustration of when David, after being anointed King, but still fleeing for his life from Saul, needed to find food for his men who were starving. It’s a story from 1 Samuel 21:1-6. He knew that there were always 12 loaves of bread in the temple that were meant to symbolize the 12 tribes. They were huge: made with 6 and a quarter cups of flour each! And they were replaced weekly.
While he lied to the priests saying that the King had need of the bread, the Pharisees didn’t blame him because; a – he was the anointed King and b- human need superseded the law. Jesus knew the Pharisees thought this way. So He pointed out that He is the anointed Son of God and could break any of MAN’S laws. That He was Lord over man, the laws and even over the Sabbath!
Romans 10:3-4 3 Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. 4 Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.
God’s righteousness is Jesus Christ! Our work is to believe in Him. Not being obedient to the law. This belief is a total and complete life reliance on God. Handing our lives over to Him.
Romans 8:1-3 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh,
The law of sin and death is Moses’ code. The commandments! The Pharisees laws! Romans 13:10 tells us that love is the fulfillment of the law.
Jesus says man is more important than the Sabbath. The Sabbath, time for worship and rest, was made to bless man. In Matthew 12:1-7, which is the parallel passage to this Mark passage, verse 7 says, “I desire mercy.”
It’s all about our heart, not our works. Not following the law. We honor Him with our hearts. God doesn’t need us to keep all the laws; He needs us to show compassion. Then we have a spirit of profound gratitude not egotism.