Drop files to upload.
Faithlife
Faithlife
Avatar
Avatar
Sign in

Lord of the Sabbath

Mark Exposition  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 1 view
Notes & Transcripts
Mark 2:23–3:6 NIV84
23 One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain. 24 The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?” 25 He answered, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need? 26 In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.” 27 Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” 1 Another time he went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. 2 Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. 3 Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.” 4 Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent. 5 He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. 6 Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.
Mark 2:23-3:
If we had to go back this morning into the Old Testament as Christians, and look together at the 10 commandments, and as a community of believers begin working through those commandments together, and coming to an agreement on their applicability to us as Christians today, I do believe that we would find significant consensus on 9 of the 10 commandments.
All of us would agree with the fact that as Christians...
We should have no other God’s before our creator God, Jahweh
We should not worship idols
We should not misuse the name of God
We should honour our parents
We should not murder
We should not commit adultery
We should not steal
We should not give false testimony
We should not covet.
All of these commands to us would seem quite obvious that they need to be kept!! We see them as moral standards....and to a large extent, at least with respect to those commands which speak of our relational dimension with other people - even those who do not know God, would largely agree with those intrinsically...
But with one of those commandments within the 10, there exists great controversy and diversity of views. The commandment is of course the 4th commandment, that the Sabbath should be kept holy.
It is the Sabbath day, and the keeping thereof, which gives rise to the next controversy or conflict which is recorded by Mark as taking place between Jesus and the religious leaders (Pharisees).
Mark records 2 separate incidents of conflict relating to the Sabbath day - one that we’ll consider today from , and the other which we’ll look at next week from .
As we begin to consider these passages this morning, I’m going to start out by giving a broad introduction to the Sabbath Day and its significance in Judaism. A lot of the significance of the Sabbath Day is lost on us today, because it is most certainly not held in such high regard as it was to the Jews.
So I’m going to lay a basic foundation of the Sabbath and its importance this morning, and then proceed to consider our text and the conflict that takes place.
Next week, having laid the foundation on the Sabbath, we will then continue to consider the conflict in , and then I hope to continue further on this theme of the Sabbath in our current day, taking us beyond what we find in our text.
This is an issue that I’ve been wrestling with myself for some time, but certainly much more as I’ve been preparing for the preaching of this text, and I think it would be helpful for us to study this matter together, so that we can prayerfully, as a community of believers, consider how we may best honour our Lord Jesus Christ when it comes to the Sabbath.
So let us begin then with a brief overview of the Sabbath in the Old Testament.
I would imagine that it’s quite well-known to us that the first place we read of the seventh day being made holy is in the book of Genesis - the beginning of chapter 2.
By the end of , the full creation account of how God created the heavens and earth is recorded (the creation taking place over 6 days). And then in , we read...
Genesis 2:1–3 NIV84
1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. 2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
And so we have for us right in the opening chapters of the bible, God setting down the example of rest on the 7th day. This was not a case of God needing to have rest, for God neither sleeps nor slumbers, and in fact He needs no rest.
But nonetheless, God has a day wherein He rests from His work of creating - and this really will set down the example for what will follow in terms of God’s people - and in particular the Israelites in terms of how God will establish the Sabbath as a covenant sign to them.
The next real occurrence that we find in the OT of the seventh day being a day of rest, and in fact the first occurrence that we find this day of rest being explicitly required to be observed by men, is once the Israelites have been freed from bondage in Egypt, and they are wandering in the wilderness.
In , the Israelites cried out to God concerning their lack of provisions as they walked through the wilderness, and the fact that they were starving and missing the delicacies of Egypt. And God then responded to their cries with these words in ...
Exodus 16:4–5 NIV84
4 Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. 5 On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days.”
And so that was the command given to Israel, that on the 6th day, they were to collect a double-portion, and then on the 7th day collect nothing. And they obeyed this command. Further down in , we read...
Exodus 16:22–23 NIV84
22 On the sixth day, they gathered twice as much—two omers for each person—and the leaders of the community came and reported this to Moses. 23 He said to them, “This is what the Lord commanded: ‘Tomorrow is to be a day of rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord. So bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning.’ ”
Exodues 16:22-23
In this way, the Sabbath as a day of rest was first required by God for the Israelites, and if not instituted officially at this time, it was at the very least the precursor to the complete Sabbath Day law that God was yet to establish with them in terms of the 10 commandments.
In this way, the Sabbath as a day of rest was instituted by God for the Israelites, or if not instituted officially, it was at the very least practiced in provision for the true Sabbath that was yet to be implemented.
But the proper establishment for them as a command only came later on, as God gave the commandments by which Israel were to live their lives to Moses at Sinai.
But the proper establishment for them as a command only came later on, as God gave the commandments by which Israel were to live their lives to Moses at Sinai.
You will recall that the commandments that were given to Israel were based on what God had done for them as a people.
It was because this people had been freed out of slavery in Egypt, because God had chosen them as a people for His own purposes and for the exaltation of His name, that He gave them these commands that they should be set apart for Him, and that they should be a people holy in the world.
In , God preceded the giving of the commands to Israel with the words:
Exodus 20:2 NIV84
2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
Exodus 20:
With those words, he went into these 10 commandments or laws by which they as the Israelites were to live. And in we read the words of the Sabbath Day command to Israel...
Exodus 20:8–11 NIV84
8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
And so it was the God instituted amongst the Israelites the Sabbath Day law which was to mark their lives, and a law that they were to hold fast to in order that God might be honoured.
Now we need to realise that the Sabbath law as instituted amongst the Israelites was taken very seriously. The penalty for breaking the Sabbath was death.
Exodus 31:14 NIV84
14 “ ‘Observe the Sabbath, because it is holy to you. Anyone who desecrates it must be put to death; whoever does any work on that day must be cut off from his people.
Exodus
Very early on in the life of Israel as a nation, just after the giving of the commands, this law of Sabbath keeping was put to the test.
The example of this is found in . In that account, a particular man was found gathering wood on the Sabbath (while the Israelites were still in the desert).
Those who found the man doing this brought the man to Moses; there was some uncertainty from them what should be done with the man. But Moses went and sought instruction from the Lord… and in verse 35, we read...
Numbers 15:35 NIV84
35 Then the Lord said to Moses, “The man must die. The whole assembly must stone him outside the camp.”
This account of the man collecting sticks, and then having to be put to death, illustrates to us the seriousness with which God Himself considered the Sabbath, having given them the commandment to obey. God was serious about Israel upholding the law given by Him to them, and by which they were to live.
Was this unreasonable by God?
Well no, not when you consider that in God had directly commanded that a person was not to work on the Sabbath day, and that those who did so must be put to death!! He had very clearly laid out His commands and His laws for them as a people. He had also told them of the punishment to be expected, and this man was certainly in violation of the law of God.
And so God rightly orders that the man be put to death.
God’s law is always to be seen as serious. Even in our New Testament day, we need to consider God’s law as serious, and any flagrant breaking of God’s law should be looked upon with grave concern in our lives...
What this would have done for the Israelites is that it would have had a profound impact on them concerning the seriousness of the law of God. All of the Israelites in that instance were to take this man outside the camp, and stone him to death. They would have participated in putting the man to death - and it would have had a profound impact on their lives concerning the seriousness of the law of God.
One more important aspect that needs mention concerning the Sabbath for the Israelites, and that was that it was to be seen as a covenant sign between God and Israel, as a perpetual reminder to Israel of God having brought them out of Egypt and made them holy...
Exodus 31:16 NIV84
16 The Israelites are to observe the Sabbath, celebrating it for the generations to come as a lasting covenant.
Ezekiel 20:12 NIV84
12 Also I gave them my Sabbaths as a sign between us, so they would know that I the Lord made them holy.
Ezekiel 20:20 NIV84
20 Keep my Sabbaths holy, that they may be a sign between us. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.”
And so there was a particular purpose in the Sabbaths, apart from being a day on which they should rest, and the purpose was as a sign - a covenant sign - of what God had done for them as a nation in making them holy.
Sadly however, the Israelites did not always keep the Sabbaths as God had required of them and commanded them to do. We see that on a number of occasions in the Old Testament.
If you go to the book of Nehemiah, you will find that Nehemiah indicates to Israel that part of the reason that they had judgement come upon them as a nation was due to their failure to observe the Sabbaths.
Nehemiah 13:16–18 NIV84
16 Men from Tyre who lived in Jerusalem were bringing in fish and all kinds of merchandise and selling them in Jerusalem on the Sabbath to the people of Judah. 17 I rebuked the nobles of Judah and said to them, “What is this wicked thing you are doing—desecrating the Sabbath day? 18 Didn’t your forefathers do the same things, so that our God brought all this calamity upon us and upon this city? Now you are stirring up more wrath against Israel by desecrating the Sabbath.”
Nehemiah 13:16-18
So Israel failed to keep the Sabbaths as was required, but there were also consequences to Israel for failing to keep the Sabbaths.
On this background, enter those zealous for God and for keeping His commands: The Pharisees!!!
As we’ve considered over the past few weeks, they saw themselves really as the guardians of God’s law, and those who took it upon themselves to return the nation of Israel to keeping God’s laws.
In order to assist in this, they would bring in all sorts of man-made rules that they claimed needed to be adhered to in order to ensure that the people were not breaking the commands of God.
But let us consider further, concerning this Sabbath command, that it was in fact a day set apart for the benefit of man (chiefly so) - so that man would be able to rest. This was to be a blessing to man, not a burden to man. This was a necessary day of breaking away from the usual work, and having a day of rest!!!
This included rules for the Sabbath. And plenty of them...
Sadly however, the Pharisees perverted the intent of the day by beginning to add all sorts of man-made religious instructions in terms of what constituted work.
Sadly, the Pharisees perverted the intent of the day by burdening the Israelites with all their various instructions on what was acceptable and what not.
Sadly however, the Pharisees perverted the intent of the day by beginning to add all sorts of
They appeared to have evaluated each and every possible scenario that may arise in life, and then made a rule concerning what was and what was not acceptable on the Sabbath.
The Jewish Talmud, which is a collection of the various discussions, oral traditions etc. of the Jews, and which has a particular practical aspect to life, recorded many of the rules that had been established for the Jews which would direct what constituted work.
In the Talmud, there are 24 chapters of Sabbath laws.
One rabbi said he spent two and a half years studying one chapter to figure out all the minute details in terms of what one could and could not do on the Sabbath day.
If you threw an object in the air and caught it with the other hand, it was a sin. If you caught it in the same hand, it wasn't.
A tailor couldn't carry his needle.
A tailor couldn't carry his needle. The scribe couldn't carry his pen. A pupil couldn't carry his books. No clothing could be examined lest somehow you find a lice and inadvertently kill it. Wool couldn't be dyed. Nothing could be sold. Nothing could be bought. Nothing could be washed. A letter could not be sent even if it was sent via a heathen. No fire could be lit. Cold water could be poured on warm, but warm couldn't be poured on cold.
The scribe couldn't carry his pen.
A pupil couldn't carry his books.
No clothing could be examined lest somehow you find a lice and inadvertently kill it.
Cold water could be poured on warm, but warm couldn't be poured on cold.
You could not bathe for fear when the water fell off of you it might wash the floor
you could use only enough ink for two letters - that is alphabetic letters.
The list goes on and on - there was simply a rule and regulation for every conceivable activity on the Sabbath day!!!
It’s little wonder that Christ said to the people...
Matthew 11:28 NIV84
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Indeed! The people were burdened by the manifold of rules and regulations that had been instituted by those Zealous for God’s law.
With that as a broad background to the Sabbath day, and the importance thereof to the Israelites (and even more so to the Pharisees), we turn our attention now to our text in Mark’s Gospel.
In verse 23 we read...
Mark 2:23 NIV84
23 One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain.
The disciples and Jesus were walking along on a particular Sabbath day, and as they were doing that, the disciples were busy picking the heads of grain.
Luke’s account of this event confirms to us that the disciples were hungry, and so they were pricking heads of grain in the fields, and they would rub the heads of grain in their hands in order to get rid of the husks so that they could get to the food itself, and then they were eating that grain.
It’s not known where Jesus and the disciples were going, and why they were moving through the grainfields, but one thing is for sure, the Pharisees were around and they were evaluating every move of Christ and his disciples.
And as the Pharisees see the disciples of Jesus taking these heads of grain while they walk, they immediatley raise an objection, and we see that in verse 24...
What
Mark 2:24 NIV84
24 The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?”
Again, a question is posed to Jesus. The confrontation from the Pharisees continues, and they are determined to find fault with this man Jesus.
It’s interesting that the different synoptic Gospels retell this account in different ways. According to Luke’s account, the question was posed to the disciples themselves. According to Matthew’s Gospel, the confrontation was more direct - it wasn’t merely a question that was asked, it was a direct accusation...
Matthew 12:2 NIV84
2 When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath.”
Matthew 12:
Again, the confrontation is directed not so much at the disciples, as it is at the leader of those disciples.
In this instance, the problem was not the fact that the disciples were picking the heads of grain from someone else’s field.
In their day, it was perfectly acceptable and within the bounds of their law and was written in the law that one could pick the heads of grain from another persons field, so long as they didn’t put a sickle to the grain, and it was only done by hand.
In , we read...
Deuteronomy 23:25 NIV84
25 If you enter your neighbor’s grainfield, you may pick kernels with your hands, but you must not put a sickle to his standing grain.
The clear implication of this law for the Israelites was that God placed an emphasis on the basic needs of people being met. There was to be a care for people’s needs.
We read of similar desires of God to have concern for people’s basic needs, when we read in ...
Leviticus 23:22 NIV84
22 “ ‘When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the Lord your God.’ ”
Leviticus 19:9–10 NIV84
9 “ ‘When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. 10 Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the Lord your God.
It was abundantly clear from these provisions within their laws that God did not despise the poor or the alien, but expected his own people to show a measure of concern and care for them.
In that sense, God cared for people.
The Pharisees in this account (and throughout the Gospel accounts in fact) would have done well to consider this fact of God’s care over people.
Because it’s precisely this lack of care of people, and instead a greater emphasis on obedience to commands, that drive the Pharisees to initiate this conflict.
Their concern is not that the disciples are picking grain, but that the disciples are picking grain on the Sabbath Day, on the day on which there was to be rest from work.
In their minds, the disciples were doing what was considered to be work on the Sabbath Day, because they were picking grain, and working away the husks.
As the Pharisees level this charge against Jesus and his disciples, we once again see the response from Jesus in typical Rabbinical fashion. He begins by asking them a question...
Mark 2:25 NIV84
25 He answered, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need?
Christ counters them with a question.
Not because Christ actually assumed that perhaps they were ignorant of the event that he presents them with.
These were the Pharisees, who had most certainly committed the entire Torah (first 5 books of the Bible) to memory, and who would have committed much larger portions of Scripture to memory.
They certainly would be familiar with every record and event in the Old Testament (their Scriptures of that day).
And so Christ’s question to them (at least in part) is not so much if they’ve read the account in the Scripture, but rather why it is that they’ve so dismally failed to recognise the implications of what they’ve read and studied, and why they now incorrectly apply the law of God, and focus so much on the traditions of man, rather than on what was intended by the law.
And so as Christ responds to their accusations, He takes them back to this account in their own Scriptures, where David and some of his soldiers / followers were fleeing from Saul (who wanted to kill David).
We read on in verse 26 of our text...
We read on in verse 26 of our text...
Mark 2:26 NIV84
26 In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.”
That entire account of David entering into the house of God in order to eat is found recorded for us in . I’m not going to go through the entire account, but l will highlight some background facts there so that we understand exactly what was taking place.
Concerning the house of God, and the consecrated bread that David ate...
In , we read of the instructions concerning what was known as the BREAD OF THE PRESENCE...
In , we read of the instructions concerning what was known as the BREAD OF THE PRESENCE...
Leviticus 24:5–6 NIV84
5 “Take fine flour and bake twelve loaves of bread, using two-tenths of an ephah for each loaf. 6 Set them in two rows, six in each row, on the table of pure gold before the Lord.
Leviticus 24:
Then in verse 8...
Leviticus 24:8 NIV84
8 This bread is to be set out before the Lord regularly, Sabbath after Sabbath, on behalf of the Israelites, as a lasting covenant.
Leviticus 25:8 NIV84
8 “ ‘Count off seven sabbaths of years—seven times seven years—so that the seven sabbaths of years amount to a period of forty-nine years.
There were 12 loaves of bread, representing the 12 tribes of Israel, and the bread was known as the bread of the presence, because it represented the 12 tribes of Israel and the fact that they were to be regularly before the Lord.
Notice the significance of this bread, in that it was to form part of a lasting covenant. But significantly for our situation in Mark’s Gospel, notice these words from verse 9...
Leviticus 24:9 NIV84
9 It belongs to Aaron and his sons, who are to eat it in a holy place, because it is a most holy part of their regular share of the offerings made to the Lord by fire.”
The bread that was placed before the Lord in the Tabernacle was considered holy, and was reserved for the priests, to be eaten in a particular manner and place. It was a most holy part of their offerings...
It is this bread of the presence, which is a most holy part of their share of the offerings, that David ate when he fled from Saul.
Let’s turn briefly to that account - ...
Let’s turn briefly to that account - ...
1 Samuel 21:1 NIV84
1 David went to Nob, to Ahimelech the priest. Ahimelech trembled when he met him, and asked, “Why are you alone? Why is no one with you?”
1 Samuel 21:1–6 NIV84
1 David went to Nob, to Ahimelech the priest. Ahimelech trembled when he met him, and asked, “Why are you alone? Why is no one with you?” 2 David answered Ahimelech the priest, “The king charged me with a certain matter and said to me, ‘No one is to know anything about your mission and your instructions.’ As for my men, I have told them to meet me at a certain place. 3 Now then, what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever you can find.” 4 But the priest answered David, “I don’t have any ordinary bread on hand; however, there is some consecrated bread here—provided the men have kept themselves from women.” 5 David replied, “Indeed women have been kept from us, as usual whenever I set out. The men’s things are holy even on missions that are not holy. How much more so today!” 6 So the priest gave him the consecrated bread, since there was no bread there except the bread of the Presence that had been removed from before the Lord and replaced by hot bread on the day it was taken away.
Just a quick note here…if you’ve been paying attention, you would have noticed that in Mark’s Gospel, it was recorded there that Christ referred to this being at the time when Abiathar was high priest, but in this text in 1 Samuel it is speaking about Ahimelech the priest.
Ahimelech and Abiathar were father and son. Most likely both were present when David came into the temple. But soon after this account, Ahimelech, along with other priests of that place were put to death as a result of them having supported David, and then Abiathar became high priest, and was high priest for an extended period in the time of David, and so he is referenced here...
Going further in the account here in 1 Samuel, we read further on in verse 3, David asks Ahimelech:
1 Samuel 21:3 NIV84
3 Now then, what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever you can find.”
To which Ahimelech responds...
1 Samuel 21:4 NIV84
4 But the priest answered David, “I don’t have any ordinary bread on hand; however, there is some consecrated bread here—provided the men have kept themselves from women.”
So the priest declares that he is willing to give them some of the consecrated bread, so long as David and his men are holy (ritually clean).
After David responds that him and his men are ritually clean, Ahimelech agrees to give him the bread of the presence that had been removed from before the Lord and replaced by the fresh bread. (They would replace the bread every Sabbath day with fresh bread).
Clearly what had taken place had gone against the institution that God had put in place, that this bread of the presence was only to be eaten by the priests in the prescribed manner.
But this is exactly the point that Jesus drives home with the example. While David’s encounter with the priest didn’t necessarily take place on the Sabbath day, it went to the heart of the problem that the Pharisees had in this instance, in that they were adamant that the law of God should be kept at the expense of genuine needs of people.
And it’s this belief of theirs that Christ breaks down. Ahimelech the priest was wise enough to recognise that although there was a law in place, that law should not take precedence over the genuine needs of a person.
And so Ahimelech gives David and his men some of this consecrated bread to eat.
But notice finally with me the way in which Christ once again confirms His authority, even over this Sabbath day.
There are two significant statements that Christ makes in this regard.
Firstly, He begins in verse 27 by asserting that “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”
The assertion here by Christ is this: That God instituted the Sabbath for the benefit of man, and any regulations that were implemented which would subvert this original purpose of God for the Sabbath should be ignored.
Believers Church Bible Commentary: Mark 2:27 The Purpose of the Sabbath

God instituted it for human benefit. Regulations that subvert that original purpose are to be ignored.

The Sabbath was in fact intended to be a blessing to man in that it afforded man the opportunity to rest and recover from his labours. Any one of us that knows what it is to work hard, appreciates the opportunity to have a time of rest!!
But the Pharisees entirely missed the point of God’s intent in the establishment of the Sabbath Day, and made any number of laws and regulations surrounding the Sabbath in order to ensure that people didn’t break it, but in the mean time placed a burden on the people on the day which had intended to be set aside as a time for relief from burden.
And so that’s the first significant statement - that the Sabbath was always intended for the benefit of people, and no burden by man-made rules and regulations should come into effect that would corrupt that intent.
Christ goes on in verse 28 of this passage to make another significant statement (probably even more significant that the first). He says...
Mark 2:28 NIV84
28 So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
With this statement, Jesus once again places Himself as the one with ultimate authority!!! He in effect states that He is the One with the prerogative to determine what is good and bad, right and wrong with respect to the Sabbath.
Jesus is “LORD” - the one who is sovereign - over the Sabbath.
Jesus is in effect placing Himself in the position of God, giving himself the authority to declare what is and isn’t acceptable for a person to be done on the Sabbath Day.
This was a massive affront to the Pharisees!!!
By using the title the “Son of Man” for Himself (Messianic title) and then stating that the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath, Christ was claiming to have the absolute right to overrule the Sabbath, because of his person and work as God’s representative.
This leads naturally to a clash between Him and the Pharisees, which will really come to a head in the next portion that we consider next week.
As we come to a close this morning, let us be reminded of the wonderful realities that are unfolding as Christ confronts the religious people of His day.
Christ truly did enter into the world in order to be the one who would bring rest for His people. He came as the One who would bring into reality the Kingdom of God, which included that beautiful truth that there would no longer be works needed, laws needed by which we were to live, in the sense that there were for the people of Israel.
Indeed, Christ came to bring freedom from that law!!!
It has been written:
The Message of Mark a. Rules and Spirit

Whether we are aware of it or not, much of our spiritual life is sustained by rules, regulations, practices and rituals which give shape to our daily existence, not least in difficult and dry days. They become like boundaries and goal posts to a playing field, or white lines down the middle of a road. Our dependence upon them becomes so great that when anyone begins to alter the boundaries or move the goal posts or paint new lines, our whole spiritual life seems to be threatened.

We are very much like that even in our own lives.
Let us not become as the Pharisees were, who created all manner of rules and regulations in their zeal for obeying God.
Let us delight in the rest that we have in Christ!!
RELATED MEDIA
See the rest →
RELATED SERMONS
See the rest →