Mark 2:23-28: He is Lord.

“23 One Sabbath Jesus was going through the cornfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some ears of corn. 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.’” NIV UK

‘The ritualistic demands the outward, the conventional, the ancient usage of the past. Christ says the needs of man, whether of body or of soul, are greater than ceremonial restriction.’ F.B. Meyer: ‘Devotional Commentary,’ p.422.

Jesus surely never made a more shocking, or clearer, statement of His divinity than here in (28). Only God is ‘’…Lord…of the Sabbath.’’ Only He has the right to say how His day should be used. Who then is Jesus? The answer is pretty obvious.

The Sabbath was certainly meant to be a blessing to man and not a burden. In calling Himself ‘’the Son of Man’’ Jesus was using a Messianic term from the Book of Daniel. As the Messiah, He had the right to say what was appropriate behaviour for the Sabbath. (The Pharisees probably considered the disciples to be working – ‘harvesting’ – on the Sabbath day).

Jesus ‘doesn’t deny that the disciples are out of line with traditional Sabbath observance, but he pleads special circumstances and Scriptural precedent. He puts himself on a par with King David in the period when David, already anointed by Samuel but not yet enthroned (because Saul was still king), was on the run, gathering support, waiting for his time to come. That’s a pretty heavy claim: the implication is that Jesus is the true king, marked out by God (presumably in his baptism) but not yet recognised and enthroned. He therefore has the right, when he and his people are hungry, to by-pass the normal regulations. In other words, this kind of sabbath-breaking, so far from being an act of casual or wanton disobedience, is a deliberate sign, like the refusal to fast: a sign that the King is here, that the kingdom is breaking in…’ Tom Wright: ‘Mark for everyone,’ pp.27, 28.