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Summary: In these verses we see more controversy between Jesus & the Pharisees. On the surface, the point of contention was keeping the Sabbath. The Pharisees were going to get very upset about Jesus & His disciples picking grain on the Sabbath, as well as Jesus h

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The Gospel of Mark #7 – “Jesus, Lord of the Sabbath”

Mark 2:23-3:6

Intro –

1. How many of you prayed this prayer, “Now I lay me down to sleep…?” (Quote) Unfortunately, I also used to pray, “Now I lay me down to rest…” (Quote)

2. ILL – A student sat through an exam; the teacher supervising said time up but still the student carried on. The teacher said; “Hand your exam paper in now or I’m not going to accept it.” Still the student carried on. 30 minutes later the student got up and stood before the teacher. The teacher looked at him and said; “I am not going to accept your paper it is late”. The student looked the teacher in the eye and said; “Do you know who I am?” The teacher replied “No, and I don’t really care!” For a second time the student said; “Do you know who I am?” For a second the teacher replied “No!” The student replied; “Good”, He then lifted the stack of exams, stuffed his paper in the middle, & ran out of the room.

3. In the gospels, the fundamental reason we see such hatred coming from the Pharisees toward Jesus is the fact that they do not know Who He really was!

4. Mark 2:23-3:6 (read)

5. These 2 stories are also found Matt. 12:1-14 & Luke 6:1-11.

6. In these verses we see more controversy between Jesus & the Pharisees. On the surface, the point of contention was keeping the Sabbath. The Pharisees were going to get very upset about Jesus & His disciples picking grain on the Sabbath, as well as Jesus healing a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath.

7. However, the real underlying issue was that the Pharisees kept the letter of the Law but not the spirit of the Law.

8. Matt 23:23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices--mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law--justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.”

9. 2 Cor. 3:6 “He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant--not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”

10. In the end, the Pharisees once again plot to kill Jesus. They want to know, “Who does this guy think he is?” He is the Lord of Sabbath.

I. What was the Sabbath? – 2:27 “Sabbath” 7x in 12 vs. **might be important!!

To properly understand the impact of these 2 events in the life of Christ, we must 1st understand what exactly the Sabbath was.

A. In the O. T. – it was a celebration of God resting from His work of creation.

1. The Hebrew word “Shabbat” literally means “rest.” In Gen. 2, God rested & sanctified the 7th day (Saturday) but gave no command about it at that time.

2. Gen. 2:3 “And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”

3. The first Sabbath command was given in Ex. 16 when Moses told the Israelites that God had given them the Sabbath (v. 29).

4. There were few if any days off in Egypt for slaves (10 day week). The gift of one day off a week was indeed intended to be a blessing, to be gratefully received.

5. Finally, in Exodus 20, Moses gave the 10 commandments – the 4th was –

6. Ex. 20:8-11 “8Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. 11For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”

7. The purpose was to remember the God who created them & redeemed them by resting in His power & worshipping Him! The purpose was never to have so many rules that it was a burden – it was intended to be a blessing (2:27)!!

8. 2:27 (NCV) “…The Sabbath day was made to help people; they were not made to be ruled by the Sabbath day.”

B. In the N. T. – the Sabbath has been done away with in Christ: He is our rest!

1. One of the common misconceptions currently held among Christians is that our observance of Sunday as the “Lord’s day” is the Christian Sabbath, the Sabbath day of the O. T. saint, revised & tailored to meet the need for Christian worship.

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