Mark 2:23-28 “Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath”

Posted on October 20, 2008. Filed under: The Gospel of Mark |

Monday, October 20, 2008– This sermon from Mark was preached as a Sunday night sermon, consequently it is not a manuscript but just some notes with an outline:


Mark 2:23-28 “Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath”

Sunday 19 September 1999 PM




I. The Sabbath

II. The Problem of Legalism

III. The Sabbath Is Made for Man

IV. Lord of the Sabbath



Introduction: We will return to the question about fasting at a later date, since I will be gone this next week. The trend in Mark’s Gospel is continued here in our text tonight with the conflict between Jesus and the Pharisees. When Jesus forgave the paralytic his sins, the scribes and Pharisees got angry and thought Jesus was blaspheming. With the calling of Levi and then attending the banquet at Levi’s house Jesus shocked the sensibilities of the respectable Jews. The Pharisees next questioned Jesus’ disciples about fasting, and wondered why they were not keeping the fasts that were common. The tension builds now as Jesus’ disciples harvested grain in their hands on the Sabbath and Jesus proclaims himself to be Lord of the Sabbath. In this text Jesus overturns the way of looking at the Sabbath and the man made regulations that had accumulated; here is the challenge of legalism that Jesus met head on with grace.


I. The Sabbath.

            Gen 2:1-3. Ex 20:8-11; 34:21

How deeply ingrained is the Sabbath upon the Jewish mind. After their captivity in Babylon they never again forsook the Sabbath.


II. The Problem of Legalism.

            Jesus and his disciples were not harvesting, technically, they were eating, relieving their hunger. 1Sam 21:1-6; Lev. 24:5-9

            Matt 12:1-8. God desires mercy not sacrifice. Substance over form is always the battle in religious circles. Gal 4:10-11; I Cor. 8:1-13.

            Legalism still exists today even though the bigger problem is antinomianism. In fact the two problems exist side by side in our churches. Traditionalism of the older generation combined with the antinomianism of the younger. But legalism is frequently the vehicle that ushers in lawlessness, because legalism rests on blind faith and authoritarianism. Religion is a list of do’s and don’ts, form is more important than function.

            We see this battle in such things as arguments over dress codes and music styles and even preaching styles.


III. The Sabbath Was Made For Man

            Worship and rest, saving life not taking life, not wearisome burdens. In our day, however, the Sabbath is neglected, and profaned. Ex23:12


IV. Lord of the Sabbath

            1. A claim to divinity and Messiah (Dan7:13)

            2. Matt5:17; John 8:46;

            3. Changed the Sabbath to Sunday Mark 16:2; Acts 20:7; I Cor.16:2


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