Mark 2:23-28

Talks for Growing Christians

The Lord of the Sabbath

Mark 2:23-28

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Lesson Number 10

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath.
  2. Bible stories should be used as precedents.

Practical Application

  1. Let's not miss the spirit of the law by keeping the letter of the law.


  1. Of what were the Pharisees accusing Jesus' disciples?
  2. How did the Lord answer their accusation?
  3. What did the Lord say concerning the Sabbath? Why did the Lord say to keep the Sabbath? Is the Sabbath given as a law in the New Testament?
  4. How might we miss the spirit of the law?
  5. What is the difference between a regulatory law and a moral law? Give an example of each.
  6. What is it called when a moral law is broken and justified by circumstances?


  1. Not of stealing, but of working on the Sabbath. The law required that some grain be left (Deuteronomy 23:25; Leviticus 19:9-10). It would seem the Pharisees considered that the plucking of a few ears of grain was reaping, that rubbing them together was threshing, and that blowing away chaff was winnowing. Therefore, they concluded, the disciples were "working" on the Sabbath.
  2. See Mark 2:25-28
  3. He was saying that you must distinguish between ceremonial/civil law and moral law. It forces man to rest and give him time to think about God. It also protected servants who needed rest. It is not given as a law in the New Testament
  4. By keeping the letter of the law, as the Pharisees did.
  5. A regulatory law is a civil law made for the good of a community (e.g., speed limits). A moral law is a law of God (e.g., "Do not commit adultery").
  6. Situation ethics.


  1. Read 1 Samuel 21:1-6 to refresh your memory of the "David story." Did the Lord affirm or disclaim this account?
  2. Should we give thanks publicly for our food?


  1. Does thanking God for a meal ever become a ritual with you? If so, how could you recapture the spirit of the law of thanksgiving? Make it a point to recapture the spirit of thanksgiving in all of your prayers.

Key Verses

  • "Jesus said, 'The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath." (Mark 2:27-28).

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