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Jesus, Lord of the Sabbath (Part 2 of 3)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
September 24, 2022 4:00 am

Jesus, Lord of the Sabbath (Part 2 of 3)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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September 24, 2022 4:00 am

In his series called The Sabbath, Alistair Begg has addressed the dangers inherent in ignoring the fourth commandment. We’ll continue this study by examining the other extreme: the spiritual dangers of legalism. Discover Jesus’ true intentions for “keeping the Sabbath holy” when you listen to Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.


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You heard of the Pharisees. They were religious leaders who were known for being sticklers about forcing the technicalities of God's law.

They were so busy condemning Jesus and his disciples for their behavior on the Sabbath day that they missed out on the greater lessons today on Truth for Life weekend.

Alastair beg confronts the spiritual dangers of legalism then and now he's teaching from the opening verses of Luke chapter 6 manganese Pharisees declare what they were doing me wrong answer is simple and sees web content simply to have the law of God. They had a souped-up version of the law of God.

They had their own version and as time passed, the added to it more and more accretions, more little bits and pieces that they had gone to the express plan of God, which had been given for the good of those who would obey him, and they had some 39 principle works. They had been divided into six subcategories, all of which were forbidden on the Sabbath, you can just imagine them going in going into their books, you know that bringing out a little black book from somewhere in going yes violation. One A-1 B, 2C to D and to acquire doing this you bad people see what they had done was this, they said since you're not allowed to read. They tightened up the idea of reaping so the accuse the disciples of reaping because they said picking was the same as reaping, thrashing, was a violation on what they were doing with their hands was, according to the Pharisees thrashing that was violation to winnowing was a violation whereby you through the gray not remember the good stuff stayed in the hospital away and so what they were doing and throwing bits and pieces away was actually winnowing violation number three and grinding was what they were doing with her teeth and that was of course violation number four, so they were absolutely high hamstrung because the Pharisees had encumbered the law of God with accretions of their own invention. They had encumbered the law of God with accretions of their own invention that was not unique to the Pharisees that is going on all through time and is present today in many circles of Christianity and we are not immune from it in this place. Therefore we must be very very clear that we do not immediately jump and find ourselves on the side of the liberty is aware of the disciples because frankly, many of us have within us.

An incipient form of Pharisaism which is tempted to jump out and confront people at every corner along the road why you doing that why you doing that you did. You know it's wrong to do that, you're not allowed to do that in this, and so on. So especially as it relates to the Sabbath. I know a great deal about. They were preventing God's law they were impugning God's wisdom they were usurping God's authority at any time that you and I are tempted to add our own little shibboleths to the clear directors of the law of God, whatever they might be whatever they have to do in relationship to our culture, our background, whatever else it is, even for the best of reasons. Then we do the same. We perfect is law we impugn his wisdom.

We say we are wiser than God, and we usurp his authority so they address the question to the disciples, why are you doing what's unlawful on the Sabbath. Now notice Jesus. Their leader steps forward and answers on behalf of his followers. Look at how he answers them in verse three. Well, he says, let me just ask you have you been reading your Bibles lately. I might've said to them, trapped in that little box that's on your four head or wrapped on those little boxes that are around your wrists where you like everybody to know that you are so into the Bible you time to your head and times your wrists he said I wonder if you been opening those boxes lately and I wonder if when you open them you actually read them because if you read them you may recall the incident in first Samuel 21 where David and his boys went in and ate the consecrated bread was forced to only beaten by the priest. There were 12 loaves, one representing each tribe of Israel, they were cleared off at the end of the week the priest and had to go in any 12 loaves.

No one else could even then they put 12 new loaves out David and his friends show up there hungry and they go in and Ethan says I wonder do you remember that you gave some to his companions, and then he says let me just mention to you that the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath of the inferences cleared of David's boys did not break the spirit of the divine Sabbath then Jesus boys were not sinful on account of eating these corn ears because it was first of all allowed in the Old Testament law and secondly it was for their physical well-being and notice of principle here that is very very important Jesus in replying. In this way, lays down this principle that no ceremonial provision must stand in the way of providing for the essential needs of life. No ceremonial provision must stand in the way of providing three essential needs of life. Whether it is in the eating of the corn or whether it is in the healing of the hand. The Pharisees were guilty of burying the real law of God under a mountain of man-made foolish traditions and is Lord of the Sabbath, the Lord Jesus isn't guarding it against the distortions and perversions with which the Pharisees had surrounded. I do not subscribe to the view that I hear frequently propounded that in declaring the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath. Jesus was essentially saying I so we can put all this Sabbath business assigned no Jesus was not dealing with the use of the Sabbath he was dealing with the abuse of the Sabbath and he is gardening from all the stuff in the Pharisees were doing to it, thereby making it burdensome and making it ugly and grotesque and nothing like what God had planned from all of creation. He never canceled the use of the Sabbath he corrected the abuse of the Sabbath.

Now verse six we come to the second incident which is not outside it's inside. Now this is taking place in the synagogue where Jesus is teaching.

It's also on another Sabbath day loop says there was a man there whose right hand was shriveled. Interesting that the doctor shows such detail. Again, it wasn't just a hand. It was his right hand, which in the majority of incidences would be the hand that was most necessary for his well-being. He tells is the Pharisees popped up once again were motivated by a desire to accuse Jesus that was their motivation verse seven. They were there to rejoice in the teaching of the Bible. They were, they are simply looking for a reason to accuse the teacher will come to worship for all kinds of reasons sometimes wonder if some don't come simply in order that they might find something with which they disagree, so that they can send a fax or an email first thing on Monday morning. Preacher hard out and someone comes up to afterwards and says I don't really think that what you said about X or Y or Z was really accurate at all and I think you're full of hot air.

Thank you very much for sharing that and may God bless you to these Pharisees were not there because they wanted to learn the Bible they were there because they wanted to accuse the teacher of the Bible of wrong doing and of Jesus experience that then every Bible class teacher in Sunday school leader and so on, is known something on that also looking for a reason to accuse verse eight Jesus knew what they were thinking of those of you have studied all the way through. Should hear a bell going off in your head and hearing it think so let me tell you what it was in your goal.


Chapter 2 verse 35 the prophecy of Simeon. Part of the prophecy of Simeon. Remember, this child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be spoken against, which is exactly what is taking place. Notice verse 35 chapter 2 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed is what's going to happen, says Simeon. When this child emerges as the teacher of Israel, the thoughts of hearts will be revealed. Jesus now current teaching in the synagogue confronted by the presence of the Pharisees knows the thoughts of their hearts. Know that is not missed something here this morning as surely as that was true. It is true now that Christ, who is sovereign and master over all. He made us all he knows the thoughts of our hearts. Both speaker and each of us as we listen.

Therefore, it is a dumb idea for us to try and pretend that we are something that we are not all are to create on our externals some kind of spirit that would give the lie to those around us that we are particularly devoted a particularly interesting or whatever it might be when a bona fide, the Lord Jesus looks out in the crowd and he knows our hearts as he knew there so he takes this man he takes the offensive position.

He says to the man with a shriveled hand, get up and stand in front of everyone.

I don't think that a man with a shriveled hand would particularly want to be made the center of attention fight.

I think that those of us who have known anything of physical impairment either shared ourselves or shared in the lives of our loved ones who have dealt with this know that it is a quite devastating thing to be put center stage. When one is aware of these disfigurement so impairment. So what is Jesus doing and why would a man of such confidence to stick his place in the center of the synagogue was simply because Jesus said get up and so he got up and stood there with a man standing there, Jesus then says to these accusing Pharisees. Let me ask you a question let me paraphrase it to get to the heart of it isn't right on the Sabbath to do good and save life as I am about to do, or is it right on the Sabbath to harm and destroy life as you are so clearly intend on doing any child in this endeavor would be able to answer that question originated real dissent. While it's only right to heal and save life Lord Jesus. It is clearly not right to be involved in those other dreadful thing of technically healing.

According to the law was permitted only if the illness was life-threatening, and this receive the kind of technicality that these Pharisees love well is the man going to die noise. Clearly not going to die. Set a shriveled hand for some time. Then if he's not going to die and violates them the, the letter of the law as it is only if the illness is life-threatening and Healing May Take Pl. in Jesus as a way with all that kind of legalistic nonsense here.

This man has the opportunity to be healed. It would be sinful to leave him in his pitiable condition, but you want to use the synagogue and you want to use the law as a means of putting a barrier between those who are in great need and the liberation that they may discover is not a dreadful thing when people will seek to employ the word of God in the worship of God's people and use it at the very antithesis to what God intends for it to be done with it happens all the time.

The spirit of Pharisaism alive and well in contemporary evangelicalism seizing the law of God to add to it our own accretions to build into it our own giblets and to use and then as a means of saying well you can stay hungry and you can stay shriveled and the reason that you can is because of this, Jesus is no that maybe your kind of Sabbath where people remain hungry in their hands remain shriveled on my kind of Sabbath is where the enjoy the corn and where their hands are made to work again and the heated infarct Pharisees of every hue, and in every generation have a great problem with liberty so having address the question to them. Verse 10 a says that he looked around at them all and then said to the man. In other words, as he turns and looks at these people.

He's given them the opportunity in that moment to respond to look at one another to look down at the ground and to admit to his authority to ignore all each that what he's saying is right and true. But instead, they remain absolutely silent. They make it clear that they set a higher volume on their harsh hairsplitting rules than on God's law of love is not what's happening, your sins will be. We must read the Bible for yourselves and think. So Jesus turns and addresses the man he's given them the opportunity to respond. They do not respond and he then turns to the man and he says to him what from the lips of any other individual would've been the most cruel of Joe. Stretch out your argument on that is your boy at some in your in your perversity. Perhaps not. You had a fun of asking somebody to do something which was patently impossible for them to do and it was a means of sick humor anybody else walking by. See the men this handle showed up as is a hey buddy, I know your way.

The men were said to himself, if only I might lack Jesus is now brought them into the very center of the synagogue in the general had been standing there, presumably with sinews and nerve endings and everything completely atrophied and useless. My grandfather's hand was like this from one of the major battles of the first world war. He always shook hands with his left to them. Center stage said I want you to stretch out your and what he was clearly unable to do. He did can sleep tonight lie awake thinking about that. The Jesus asked him to do what he was clearly unable to do and he did in the same way that he asked sinners to repent of their sins. To believe in him something there clearly unable to do and they do. It wasn't that he was able to do it as a Jesus just said do what you can do. You clearly couldn't do so that the word of Jesus was not only a life changing word but it was a life-giving word as it is to Oz this morning because the shriveled hand is only an indication of the shriveled hearts of men and women and he comes Disney says no stretch out and label risqu, but I can is word is life-giving now that is essentially it.

There are two ways that we can go at this point.

The first is this way to say once again the words and works of Jesus demand a response and neutrality is not an option confronted this morning by the works and the wonders, in the words of the Lord Jesus. He comes to people in the addresses as such, clarity, and we cannot remain neutral.

Saul of Tarsus, who was embedded in this kind of Pharisaism marriages from an experience of an encounter with the Lord Jesus to be able to say is we thought of the funeral service this Thursday evening to me to live is Christ and to die is gain. This was a radical change that have been brought about in his life up until that point to him to live was regulation to him to live was formalism to him to live with Judaism. It was Pharisaism. It was all of these things.

What was it brought about the change. While he met Christ the hair in his voice. He bowed before him and his life was radically changed. This, of course, you see is the great impact of Fort Lucas say there for some of us this morning need to think in those terms. The second route down which these verses take us is the root of asking the larger question concerning the observance of the Sabbath principle by each of us today. In other words, forces us to ask the question, is there any abiding significance to the fourth commandment the Pharisees clearly had added to the law of God, their own extensive list of accretions and there were many of these if you read all the books you can find, for example, a Pharisee that lead down the you could walk five steps on the Sabbath. You had to have a rest before you took the six step that was the kind of stuff. Women were not allowed to wear ribbons in their hair on the Sabbath, because that would've been to carry a burden you could not drag a stick on the ground on the Sabbath, because that would be akin to plowing you could not pluck out a gray hair on the Sabbath of his sword in the mirror because that would be a king to repaint some of you have done a little reading this morning is something you wish you could so this was what the Pharisee did. I would imagine a very few of us have any appreciation for that kind of mentality. Some of us by dint of our background may know something that I certainly do but I think that this congregation this morning is largely on the other side of the fence. The majority of you this morning.

I probably given very little thought to the notion of the perpetuity of the Sabbath. In other words, that there is any abiding influence and impact from the fourth commandment in the law of God and didn't eat so much so that we may be inclined to regard any attempts at maintaining the sanctity of the Sabbath of keeping it holy is nothing more than a form of the contemporary Pharisees in which Jesus here was setting aside and that's what people say anybody says well you know we have to wrestle with this issue of remembering the Sabbath day and keeping it all the times are but I just Pharisaism you realize that in that in the Gospels, Jesus dealt with that.

He said the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath in the endeavor that is, meaning you can do what you like and fairly Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath needed cited. Blown apart and that's why he dealt with the Pharisees, as he did. Clearly not reading our Bibles because he was dealing with the abuse that was the additions and accretions of the Pharisee. He was not dealing with the use of that which God had formed and established from the very beginning of creation.

Thinking and acting like a person using something that in the back of the first century still alive in Christian circles today in each of us is prone to lean in that direction to stray toward that error quite so important that we focus on the life changing life-giving words of Jesus your listing to Truth for Life weekend. Alastair Begg will be back in just a moment to close today's program. Sometimes we have doubts about our faith. The author of the book 7 reasons to reconsider. Christianity understands that feeling very well.

After he received the life-changing news of a cancer diagnosis. He began to reassess his faith. He confronted his own doubts head-on.

Did Jesus really say and do everything the Bible claims. Can we really trust the truth of God's word in this book, you learn how the claims of Christianity hold up under scrutiny and how you can become even more certain about what you believe this book will help you or someone you know who is skeptical by addressing seven statements about Christianity that are worth investigating worth considering and believing the book makes a clear case for how faith in Jesus really does provide the best answers. Visit our website today to find out more about the book 7 reasons to reconsider Christianity website is Truth for Life.orc we know not everyone likes to read, so if you'd like another quick and easy way to share the gospel with unbelieving friends.

We want to recommend a couple of short videos. One is a brief talk by Alastair where he explains the gospel. The other is an animated short film titled what is the story of the Bible you'll find both videos the Truth for story will also find several suggestions for additional teaching from Alastair about Jesus, about the Bible but the church and the basics of Christianity. All are available to listen to or watch or download for free as often as you wish. Now here's Alastair the closing thought that a foundational question with which we need to wrestle and I give it to you as part of your homework assignment is this question is then the fourth commandment, a divine ordinance in the same way that the other nine commandments are divine ordinance. Some argue that it isn't. They want me to argue in defense that it is but the onus is on those who argue that it isn't to prove why it isn't because I can show you why. So clearly it is.

It simply in between number three and number five and no one to get out so you want to explain that it's out, then come and explain to me why it's out, but it is so clearly there and if it is there, then adherence to it is not legalism because of adherence to the fourth commandment is legalism.

Then adherence to the fifth commandment is legalism. Indeed, any adherence to the commands is ipso facto legalism which it clearly hasn't is fidelity, not until fidelity, legalism, no is total honesty.

Legalism know is the honoring of my father and mother nihilism. No, then, is the keeping of the Sabbath leafless the kind of change that we want to create here and I find it in my heart as well is born of the charge that any attempt to deal with the Sabbath. In this way is a form of legalism and the reason that you and I are tempted to regard it is legalism is because our conscience is in large measure become totally insensitive to the very sanctity for which the commandment calls about Lapine when Jesus responded to the Pharisees about the Sabbath that he dismissed the poor commandment are we being legalistic when we set aside the Sabbath is a holy day. Join us next week and this will hear the conclusion of today's message titled Jesus Lord of the Sabbath.

The Bible teaching of Alastair Begg is furnished by Truth for Life Learning is for Living

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