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Lord of the Sabbath

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
October 18, 2021 12:01 am

Lord of the Sabbath

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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October 18, 2021 12:01 am

The Sabbath was meant to be God's gift to mankind, but the Pharisees turned it into a burden by their rules and regulations. Today, R.C. Sproul visits the gospel of Mark to examine what Jesus' response teaches us about the identity and authority of Christ.

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Jesus and his disciples were picking grain on the Sabbath, something that the Pharisees insisted was against the law.

The incarnate Word of God was the Lord of the Sabbath is being challenged about his behavior on the Sabbath by these theological and religious turkeys of the first century how the world is Jesus put up with this and not just squish them like Bob's right then and there are many they want to sit don't you know who you're talking to will welcome to the new it is Monday I'm leaving the Pharisees were incensed that Sabbath laws were being broken.

They were blinded by tradition, but 2000 years later tradition can be a stumbling block for us as well is Dr. RC Sproul reminders from Mark chapter 2. The text begins in verse 23 and it happened that he went through the grain fields on the Sabbath say when his disciples began to pluck the heads of grain and the Pharisees said to him, look, why do they do what is not lawful on the Sabbath day. You see what's happening here, as in the past couple of weeks, we've noticed that there is a rising crescendo of conflict that is taking place now between Jesus and the religious authorities of his day. It's still early in the public ministry of Christ and yet already, those who are against him have intensified their hatred and their antagonism toward him near Mark tells us of this occasion where Jesus disciples were walking through the grain fields and they plucked grain from their stocks and immediately Pharisees and scribes raise the question of Jesus and his disciples violating Sabbath law well in the record that we have this morning. There is surely one violation of the rabbinic tradition and in all probability to.

In addition to the laws governing behavior on the Sabbath day that God gave to the Jewish people at Sinai in the Decalogue and in the Holiness code further on throughout Jewish history, the rabbis devoted themselves to fine-tuning that law and coming up with specific prohibitions that would carefully guard the observation of the Sabbath day, and they included in their prohibitions. Many many details that can be found nowhere in sacred Scripture, but their tradition became is binding on the people in their consciences, as the Scripture itself. Now two of those prohibitions had to do.

First of all with the Sabbath day's journey.

Jewish people were not allowed to travel more than what was called a Sabbath day's journey on the Sabbath day and the rabbis defined the Sabbath day's journey as 1999 basis, or roughly 800 m, so that if you stepped along 1999 paces you are okay if you took one more step you were a Sabbath breaker and you had desecrated that holy day but presumably that rabbinic prohibition was in view here because of disciples were walking quite away through the grain fields searching for something to eat and so in all likelihood, they went over the limit of 1999 steps to be careful about today on your way to the parking lot. The other prohibition that they had added was this that since the Sabbath day, prohibited any unnecessary labor and certainly spoke against any commerce that would go beyond the six days allowable that that would also be a violation of the law of God and one of those prohibitions was a prohibition against harvesting crops on the Sabbath day reaping of crops was forbidden, and what the Pharisees are saying here is that when the disciples went down the rows of grain, and they plucked the heads from those stocks of grain. They were guilty of harvesting on the Sabbath day, which was, of course, according to the rabbis a terrible infraction against the law of God will notice how Jesus responds to these people. The first thing he does is he directs the attention of these religious leaders of the Bible itself, and is a good attorney would do. He cites precedents in order to justify the behavior of his clients. In this case they are the disciples said have you never read what an insulting statement.

This is you guys never read the Bible then there supposed to be the experts, he said, did you forget what it says there in Scripture of you never read what David did when he was in need, and hungry. He and those with him how he went into the house of God in the days of Abby Ace are the high priest, and he ate the show. Remember that when David was a fugitive from salt and David gathered around him.

This band of brothers who went with him throughout the land and they were without shelter. They were without food and David was concerned about their health and their well-being. There was no food available anywhere today with a way to minute. There's food within reach in the tabernacle at the table of showbread there those loaves of bread there enough that I can give the necessary nourishment to my men who were about to faint.

And so David goes into their into the sanctuary takes the bread from the table showbread and administers it to his men. Jesus uses this illustration because he knows that in the minds of the rabbis, and of the Pharisees who were there. The great hero of the Golden age of Israel was David. He's their idea of the ideal king and Jesus is just not come about preaching the breaking through of a new kingdom, a kingdom that fulfills the kingship of David and Jesus, who was the son of David now appeals the something that David did in the Old Testament that is recorded in sacred Scripture.

And that's to shut the miles of his critics, that's only one thing that he does, it gets better. The real crux of this matter comes in his next statement when he said to them, the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath, just pause there is a remarkable statement because at this point, Jesus is not criticizing the Old Testament law that he is leveling severe criticism at the rabbinic tradition that added to the law were God had left people free. The rabbis had put them in change the way in which they proliferated prohibitions for the Sabbath is astonishing. For example, you were allowed to give medical assistance first aid to people who were injured or ill to the point of being in a situation where life was threatened.

For example if somebody dislocated her shoulder. You can't help them get it back in place until after the Sabbath is of because of dislocated soldier soldier shoulder dislocated soldier to be in trouble but a dislocated shoulder. Is not life threatening the same time if somebody would break the rest you want allowed to put a splint on the wrist until after the Sabbath day was finished. If a building cave-in and people were buried underneath the rubble. You could remove the stones to see if there were any survivors, and if there were any survivors whose life was threatened. They could be treated with first day. Others that were dry from the building who could way to the more they would wait and if somebody was already dead, you were not allowed to move the corpse until after the Sabbath day and on and on and on it went where each generation of rabbis added more ridiculous restrictions to the law of God than the previous generation.

And Jesus said you guys have forgotten the whole purpose of the Sabbath day in the first place. Don't you understand that the Sabbath day is a gift that God has given to his people. A gift to keep them from wearing their bodies out from wearing their animals out from wearing their serve himself from wearing their fields out so that one day and Severn every single week. You're not supposed to work. Your animals are not supposed to work. Your servants are supposed to work in the land is supposed to be given a break this for your benefit and now the rabbinic tradition has turned the Sabbath day instead of a great gift of God becomes a laborious burden where people have to watch themselves in every way, whether they overstep the boundaries of these law's so it's in that context, the Jesus said Sabbath was made for man man wasn't made for the Sabbath and then the bombshell comes therefore the Son of Man is Lord also of the Sabbath member week or two ago we looked at Jesus for giving a man sins man who was crippled and Jesus indicated that point. I do this that you might know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins and how outraged the religious leaders were because they understood that the only one really who had the authority to forgive sins was God and Jesus was arrogating to himself a divine prerogative when he pronounced that man's sins forgiven and now here he does it again. I say this, that you may know that the Son of Man also doesn't just have the authority to forgive sins but is Lord of the Sabbath know one of the ongoing debates in theology with respect to the Sabbath day and there are many debates with respect to the Sabbath.

They even to this day. One of the ongoing debates is when was the Sabbath instituted and some scholars say will the Sabbath really wasn't in place. It really wasn't instituted until God gave that law in the 10 Commandments@nine it was delivered by Moses, rather say no no no no no no, the Sabbath was instituted long before Sinai long before Moses. It was instituted in creation where God himself followed the pattern of working for six days and God himself rested on the seventh day.

But not only did he rest on the Sabbath.

They beloved. What did he do, he hallowed and that means he consecrated he made it a holy day a holiday all the way back at creation God with that group who believes that the Sabbath was instituted in creation long before Moses ever tread this earth.

What's the significance of what is this what does it mean for Jesus to be the Lord of the Sabbath. What he saying here is I made the Sabbath.

It's my gift. I am sovereign over the Sabbath because I am the Lord of the Sabbath. I am the creator himself. No wonder they couldn't wait to get their heads together and figure out a way to kill Jesus. They heard this claim to deity. Notice that throughout the New Testament we are told that it is the word of God, the second person of the Trinity, in whom, for whom and by whom all things were made that the one that we worship here on Sunday morning was the creator of the universe and now the incarnate Word of God who made the world whose the Lord of the Sabbath is being challenged about his behavior on the Sabbath by these theological and religious turkeys of the first century I'm in really how the world is Jesus put up with this and not just squish them like bugs right then and there immediately want to send. Who do you guys think you are telling me whether my disciples can take a little bit of food for their stomachs. Don't you know who you're talking to what I say you can do on the Sabbath day settles what you can do on the Sabbath day.

Forget about your traditions, forget about your rabbis, the rabbis don't have the authority to legislate Sabbath behavior. The rabbis are not lords of the Sabbath with the Son of Man is the Lord of the Sabbath and basically what Jesus is saying here is an unlucky put up with this nonsense and not on this.

He saith then he displays it very reading chapter 3, verse one, he entered the synagogue again and the man was there had a withered hand. So they watched him closely whether he would heal on the Sabbath day. Okay guys get out your notebook. Let's watch what he does.

Let's see if he breaks the login working to make a list and were gonna check it twice with this Jesus and so Jesus said to the man who had the withered hand step forward now again, let me just comment a withered hand is not life-threatening.

So according the rabbis Jesus or the said if you want me to fix her hand you have to wait tomorrow and in a sense, Jesus enlists this poor wretch in the synagogue in his own agenda here and he tells the man to step forward and then he tells the man to stretch out her sin in the sense Jesus is asking this man the risk his life and the last thing that poor man once is to be used as exhibit a in a courtroom trial against Jesus.

He does want to be the center of all of this controversy and so if he's like most people are gonna want to shrug back into the shadows, except even though the last thing he wanted was to be in the courtroom.

The first thing he wanted to get his hand back in the use of his hand as a whole person, so he step forward and when Jesus said, stretch out your hand. He stretched it out and instantly that hand was his whole as the other a and again Jesus puts the question to his enemies here. Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good. See, that's my principal Jesus is saying not, is it lawful on the Sabbath to do with the rabbis permit but is it okay to do good. This is a good thing and good things like this may be done, much as six days a week, seven days a week. Is it lawful for a nurse or a doctor to administer people who were sick on the seventh of course it is, is it lawful to save life rather than the killing. Not this point. Jesus, I think, is speaking irony irony at least is dripping from his words casinos what's going on in their mind there ready to bring charges against him for violating the Sabbath day for doing good on the Sabbath day for healing on the Sabbath day and what they're interested in is a plot to kill him.

So what Jesus is saying here's what I'm doing is for life. It's pro-life it's for good, but in your hearts you're planning my death, which is a gross violation of the Sabbath day to be plotting to kill the Lord of the Sabbath is the worst form of violating the sanctity of that day that God has set apart for our well-being. And finally, we read that the Pharisees went out and immediately plotted with the Herodian's against him, how they might destroy another's one little sentence here that I passed over, but I don't want to stop without calling attention to and that was the emotional response of Jesus to these hypocrites. These religious authorities to emotions are communicated here by Mark.

The first one is anger and the word that is used here for anger is not the word that is used for a perturbation or even righteous indignation or a simple annoyance.

It is the New Testament word for an anger of fury at this point. Jesus, blessed Jesus, meek and mild is outraged by these religious people who care more about their traditions than they care about the welfare of this poor man who is in need of healing and so when Jesus thinks that he turns and looks of them and he has fire in his eyes, but that strong emotion of anger also is mixed here with one of pain. Mark tells us that Jesus was grieved in his soul at the hardness of their hearts. The Bible warns us about grieving the Holy Spirit.

We remember back in the early days of Genesis before the flood that God looked at the evil in this world and he said I will not always strive with men.

There's a point when my compassion ends where my mercy stops in my anger erupts. Therefore, don't harden your hearts when you hear the word of God see the Holy Ghost uses the word of God to quicken our consciences to make us aware of our rebellion against God. But everybody in this room has some degree of callous on his heart. Some degree of stiffness in his neck that's the way we are folks that we use the calluses, the recalcitrant heart as a shield against the word of God this morning you heard the word of God.

So what did you hear it in your ears and then diverted it from your soul. Do you have some kind of shield that you used to keep the truth of God from piercing your life. We all do because we know nothing exposes us like the word of God. And that's nothing has the power to bring us to health. Like the word of God and so let's not hear a story like this where we see our Lord angry and grief stricken by human sin and then feel like the Pharisees to say all those bad Pharisees as we do that were just like them but my prayers.

A Christian is all God don't be angry with me. Don't let me give you cause to be furious with me.

Don't let me grieve you because my heart is hardened when we hear a story like this, we want to say Lord you are the Lord of the Sabbath. What you want from me, give me ears to hearts that are open to embrace everything you say a profound prayer and a great reminder for us that we should live in a way that honors God. Every moment, glad you joined us on this Monday. Addition of Renewing Your Mind. This we were bringing you select messages by Dr. RC Sproul from some of his New Testament sermon series and today his sermon from Mark's gospel shows the trap of allowing the rules the law to obscure the reality of who Jesus is the Gospels provide us with details about the life and ministry and mission of Jesus and Dr. Sproles exposition gives us insight into each passage I think you would enjoy having his commentary on the Gospel of Mark will send you this helpful study companion when you contact us today with a donation of any amount you can go online to make a or you can call us at 800-435-4343. Let me also encourage you to explore the many resources available on our free mobile app you can listen to Renewing Your Mind there. Each day we can also read daily devotionals.

There are thousands of free messages and articles in the learn section all grouped by topic teachers scripture or type. Feel free to share anything you find there with friends on social media. You can learn more when you search for Lincoln here in your Apple or android App Store. What tomorrow will turn to the gospel of Luke, the people asked Jesus why some Jews had been killed by Roman soldiers and Jesus answer was surprising saying you're coming to me faxed with this theological problem of why my father allows all the suffering and all this pain in the world asking the wrong question. The question you should come to me with this. Why wasn't I slaughtered. I hope you'll join us Tuesday here on Renewing Your Mind

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