Year 2 Day 65
Read - Mark 2: 2:23-28
Message - Alan Burke
Apparently the summer is coming, I’m writing this and is a dour old day out there and I’m struggling to believe it’s even spring. Imagine though if you will, you’re out for a dander on a sunny Sunday afternoon at the end of August. On a day like today that sounds like bliss. Well Jesus and his disciples were out for a dander and they were once more being watched, and they picked some ears of corn to alleviate their hunger. It’s like us on that sunny Sunday afternoon we were imagining seeing a blackberry in the hedgerow and picking it, you wouldn’t give it a second thought. As a result Jesus is accused of lawbreaking. The thing is that the law of Moses said as long as you didn’t use a sickle you could take what you needed from the field (Deut 23:25). This was given so the poor would be protected and have food to eat, this was given for the good of God’s people.
The problem was that the Pharisees had classified that as harvesting, a violation of the sabbath. To them these disciples of Jesus were not only taking liberty with the sabbath but they were breaking it, they were sinning publicly, in such a way that it it cast Jesus in a poor light, he was a lawbreaker. The Pharisees had taken something good, that God had given for good and they had by their method of interpretation misused it. That’s what we see here, their sinful hearts.
We might think to ourselves ‘thank goodness we’re not like that’ but in reality we are. We all can takes something that was intended for good and we change it so that they take on a meaning or a purpose that was never its intention. The pharisees religiosity was the problem, it wasn’t God’s word it was their religion. Here Jesus reminds them about David, the incident Jesus speaks of occurred in the days of Abiathar the high priest, that is his lifetime. This took place when his father was Ahimelech was high priest. David and his companions, running for their lives from Saul, who were hungry, entered the temple and ate concreted bread (1 Sam 21). Although the action of David was contrary to the law, he was not condemned. Jesus does not claim that the Sabbath law has not technically been broken by David and his companions but that such violations under certain conditions are warranted. Human need is a higher law than religious ritualism.
The Pharisees in their desire to obey the law of God had made the law a burden, their intention may have been admirable but it had become such a nonsense, it had become nothing more than religion. That’s the point Jesus makes as he responds in verse 27, The Sabbath was mean for man, not man for the sabbath (27). God gave us the sabbath to be a gracious gift, It was never the Lord’s intention to keep people hungry or thirsty on the Sabbath, he gave his law for our best. Imagine having a seven day working week, 365 working days, we’d be shattered, we need the sabbath to be released from the toil, but the problem is that we like can so often do what the Pharisees do and take something intended for our good that it takes on a meaning or a purposes that it was never intended. But more often than not today we have thrown the shackles of God off as a people that we use the sabbath for our own selfishness forgetting the real purpose of it.
In verse 28, Jesus leaves them in no doubt about who he is, he had taught them from scripture, addressed their misunderstanding, as he calls himself the Son of Man and Lord of the sabbath (28). Jesus here uses imagery from Daniel (7:13-13) to make the point and they would have understood that he was God himself, he created the sabbath and by His laws determines what men and women would do and not do on that day he had given them, Jesus is identifying himself to be the Lord and make of all things. This was blasphemy to the Pharisees and it comes to a head in our next section of Mark 3:1-6 Jesus.
Q72 What is forbidden in the seventh commandment?
The seventh commandment forbiddeth all unchaste thoughts, words, and actions. (Matt. 15:19, Matt. 5:28, Eph. 5:3–4)