This sermon was based on Mark 2:23 – 3:6.
Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath
23One Sabbath he was going through the grainfields, and as they made their way, his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. 24And the Pharisees were saying to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” 25And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: 26how he entered the house of God, in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?”27And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”
A Man with a Withered Hand
1Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand. 2And they watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. 3And he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come here.”4And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. 5And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. 6The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.
Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath
- These two stories about the sabbath raise the question ‘what kind of faith do you have?’ Is your faith one that brings life (like that of Jesus) or one that brings death (like that of the pharisees)?
- The sabbath was a big deal, it was set apart and holy. Observing it demonstrated who God’s people were.
- The Pharisees use Gods plan for the sabbath, to restore us and provide for us, to attack Jesus. We see how faith can bring life and religiosity can bring death.
The Sabbath is about Restoration not Control
- Sabbath is for man, not man for sabbath. This is a blessing to us to thrive – not a command for living. We are meant to copy God – work hard and rest well.
- The Pharisees were critiquing external behaviour. They weren’t interested in human flourishing but box ticking. Their hearts were broken.
- Jesus is the bringer of life and freedom. The Pharisees were bringing restriction and control – ultimately death.
8 ways to know you’re a Pharisee!
- You are the guardian of right and wrong
- Quick to criticise – slow to compliment
- See the bad not the good.
- People should be like me
- Waiting for people to fail – not hoping they succeed
- Each new teaching is guilty until proven innocent
- Rules more important than reality
- Issue more important than the person