JESUS – Lord of the Sabbath.
Mark 2:2 – 3:6
Let's focus now on Jesus being the Lord of the Sabbath; making what He decrees lawful. The text describes two dramatic actions in the ministry of Jesus that both occurred on the Sabbath, and also confronts the question...what is Lawful to do on the Sabbath.
We could also talk about using precedents to decide how we should act but since you know these things, lets go beyond that to see life under grace.
When we look for precedents or for a ‘thus says the Lord’ we are relying on the law and not seeing the heart of God. Or in other words living by the “letter of the Law”, and denying the “spirit of the Law” which Jesus demonstrated so many times in his ministry.
When we operate out of the heart of God we are able to see and demonstrate the love of God to those around us.
So what is the heart of God in these circumstances which, when we see it, will allow us to live a Sabbath lifestyle 24/7, not just one day in seven!
Remember the incident in King David’s life when he and his men were hungry and without food. They were on a humanitarian mission to rescue captives. David knowing the heart of God and knowing God's love for His people knew that in these circumstances He could take and share the consecrated bread with his men.
In the same way Jesus' disciples being hungry and on a mission for God with no shops open to buy bread were in line with the heart of God in taking and eating some ears of corn!
The Pharisees, religious folk at that time, saw this, were offended, and asked the question: “Is it lawful to do this on the Sabbath?” “No!” they said, and charged Jesus’ disciples with breaking the Sabbath.
The second action took place on the same day. At the Synagogue. Jesus healed the sick man in the congregation.
So healing on the Sabbath is lawful as it aligns with the heart of God.
Once again, however, the Pharisees watched to see if Jesus would heal the man, and in doing so violate the sabbath!
Pulling an animal or a person out of a ditch is always lawful! Doing good, even good to oneself, if you are the one with the legitimate need, is always the right thing to do!
Jesus felt the critical eye of His accusers upon Him, and Jesus asked the question, which He knew was on their minds. “Is it lawful to do this on the Sabbath?”
From the perspective of the Pharisees, certain things should not be done on the Sabbath. They had formed an important Council called the Great Synagogue, about 200 years before Christ. This synagogue added to the ten commandments and added interpretations, not by teaching the inner spirit of them, but by adding to them other commandments.
Now how does this expand into a Sabbath lifestyle?
We are exhorted to be holy because our heavenly Father is holy. We are to live a holy lifestyle 24/7 because God is holy 24/7.
Jesus told us that He would never leave us or forsake us. He said he would send Holy Spirit as our guide to be with us forever!
They are not taking any days off! We have the where-with-all to be living as Jesus lived - provided we yield to Holy Spirit's directions and get to know Jesus so that we act in line with the love of God at all times.
And just as being “In Christ” and having Christ in us means that we are “holy”, so we live that life every day, not just one day in seven. We Christians cannot be holy one day of the week and unholy for the other six!
That's the Sabbath lifestyle. Every day we do what our Father in heaven would do and we say only what our Father in heaven would say!