Series: The Gospel: It's Not...
Message: About the Sabbath
Preacher: Mark Johnson
Daily Walk: Mark Johnson
Refresh: Open with prayer. Read or listen to Psalm 92:5-9.
Read: Mark 2:27; Romans 13:10 (ESV). As you read this version, note 1-3 insights or questions.
Reflect: We as Adventists have been very intentional and persistent in our support of the validity of the seventh-day Sabbath, but we have spent much less time and thought on conveying the meaning of the Sabbath. I believe this has been detrimental to our mission and has blunted our impact in the world.
Jesus intentionally and persistently emphasized the meaning of the Sabbath. In His society there was no question as to the validity of the Sabbath, but the meaning of the Sabbath had to a large degree been lost in the rules and regulations that were formulated by the rabbis in the intertestament period. Christ went out of His way to “break” their rules and point them back to the central meaning of the day.
In the story that leads up to Christ’s comments in Mark 2:27, the Pharisees attacked Christ’s disciples for picking wheat as they walked through a field on the Sabbath day. This was no simple “sin.” Under their rules, the picking of wheat constituted reaping, and the rubbing of the grains in their hands comprised threshing the wheat. They may as well have driven through the field in diesel-powered combines!
In His response to the Pharisees’ criticism, Jesus ignored their petty, legalistic argument, and pointed them instead to the principles of the Sabbath. Certain rules, regulations and rituals can be overlooked in the interest of caring for human beings, and above all, the Sabbath is a loving gift to mankind, not a theological test or trap with which to ensnare us. “The Sabbath was made for the good of man; man was not made for the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27, TEV)
Then He hit them between the eyes with a two-by-four: “Therefore the Son of Man is Lord also of the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:28, KJV) Essentially, Christ was telling the political and spiritual leaders of His nation, “Not only do you not know the true meaning of the Sabbath, or care for human life, but I, the One standing before you, am the Creator of both mankind and the Sabbath.”
No wonder they had to have Him killed.
Respond: Pray for a clearer understanding of the meaning of the Sabbath and a closer relationship to the Lord of the Sabbath.
Research: Look up instances in the Bible where Jesus addressed the Sabbath.