Summary: Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath, but is He your Lord?
Who’s In Charge?
Woodlawn Baptist Church
July 9, 2006
Read Luke 6:1-11
One afternoon while I was surfing the web, I came across a website that asked the question, “Was Jesus Sinless?” The author of the site openly declared that Jesus was indeed a sinner and proceeded to give twelve proofs of His sinfulness. One of those so-called proofs was Jesus’ refusal to observe the Sabbath. Exodus 20:9 says, “The seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. Do not do any work.” The author, like the Pharisees in verse 2 of our text, found Jesus guilty of breaking this command from God. But not only was Jesus guilty of breaking this law, He was guilty of arguing with Jewish legal authorities who were authorized to interpret the Law.
Was Jesus sinless or not? Of course we say that He was not, but as we read in this account, the Jewish authorities of His day clearly thought that Jesus was most certainly a sinner and a blasphemer. In this message, I want to demonstrate to you that it is Jesus, not the Pharisees or scribes or even you and me who really understand God’s will as expressed in His Word, and it is Jesus alone who is Lord, not only of the Sabbath, but of all of life.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking this passage is about the Sabbath. It is not. What it is about is Jesus’ authority. He calls into question His authority to interpret Scripture and to be God’s agent on earth. Jesus makes clear the fact that it is He who determines what is right and wrong and who really knows what God’s will is. Not only is the passage not about the Sabbath, it is also not about legalism. It’s not about this rule or that rule. It’s not a context between the legalism of the Pharisees and the so-called liberalism of Jesus. It is about none of that.
Today I want you to be clear on this one thing: Jesus Christ is Lord! Augustine said that Jesus Christ is not valued at all until He is valued above all. Today I want you to recognize His great worth and make Him the Lord of your life.
Jesus Declared Himself To Be Lord Of The Sabbath
As Jesus and the disciples passed through the corn field, the Bible says they “plucked the ears of corn, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands.” Now the Pharisees evidently had been dogging them and had witnessed this act, so they confronted them about breaking the law. Now to be sure, the Law was very strict about Sabbath observance. It was unlawful for a man to even pick up sticks on the Sabbath day.
The Law also forbade harvesting on the Sabbath, but Luke is careful in choosing his words. They were not harvesting, but plucking. They were not threshing, but rubbing, and there was certainly nothing wrong with eating. But over the years as people looked for loopholes in the Law and found ways to get around it, the scribes and Pharisees began to interpret the Law in more and more strict forms. They tried to define in strict form what every command meant and what it allowed. As a result, harvesting on the Sabbath eventually came to mean even plucking an ear of corn on the Sabbath.