"Lord of the Sabbath the Son of Man Is"

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Bobcat
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"Lord of the Sabbath the Son of Man Is"

#1 Post by Bobcat » 3 years ago

This phrase occurs at Mt 12:8, Mk 2:28 & Lk 6:5. All three cases read similarly with the one exception that Mark adds "even" before "the Sabbath." (In Greek "even" is kai. This is an epexegetical example of kai. See this post for additional info on the conjunction kai.)

In a recent CLAM book study (7/31/18) the WT publication being studied asserted a long standing belief (of the WT) that Jesus was referring (in the verses cited above) to the Millennium; that he is the ruler of that 1000 year period.

I had long accepted that claim until I began the practice of questioning WT assertions. Not that I automatically reject everything the WT says. But in many cases WT ideas fall short when you start examining them within their context. This is one such case.

Here are a few things that make me question this WT idea:

The verse in Matthew starts with "for" (Gk gar). In Mark it starts with "so then" (Gk hoste). In both cases those opening words tie the verse back to what was just previously said. None of which made any reference to the future Millennium. This makes the WT notion (if true) seem to be unexpected in the context, a thought 'out of the blue,' so to speak.

Here is an article on the subject. There are a number of such articles if you Google the subject. This one seemed to be as concise and to the point as any.

One of the things I noticed about these online articles is that they seem to stress that Jesus is the Creator, and thus, able to rule over the Sabbath, he being the inventor of it. I mention that because I did not want the discussion to devolve into a trinitarian argument. For myself, the fact that Jesus refers to himself as "Son of Man" (an allusion to Dan 7:13-14) is reason enough to give him authority over the Sabbath. In that role, he was destined to become ruler over everything. Mark's inclusion of "even" seems, to me, to have Jesus saying, 'Since the Son of Man is ruler over everything, then, that would naturally include "even the Sabbath." '

At any rate, I was interested in seeing any and all comments on the topic - not for arguing - but simply for expanding my own horizons.

Bobcat

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coccus ilicis
Posts: 776
Joined: 5 years ago

Re: "Lord of the Sabbath the Son of Man Is"

#2 Post by coccus ilicis » 3 years ago

Bobcat wrote:
3 years ago
This phrase occurs at Mt 12:8, Mk 2:28 & Lk 6:5. All three cases read similarly with the one exception that Mark adds "even" before "the Sabbath." (In Greek "even" is kai. This is an epexegetical example of kai. See this post for additional info on the conjunction kai.)

In a recent CLAM book study (7/31/18) the WT publication being studied asserted a long standing belief (of the WT) that Jesus was referring to the Millennium; that he is the ruler of that 1000 year period.

I had long accepted that claim until I began the practice of questioning WT assertions. Not that I automatically reject everything the WT says. But in many cases WT ideas fall short when you start examining them within their context. This is one such case.

Here are a few things that make me question the WT's idea:

The verse in Matthew starts with "for" (Gk gar). In Mark it starts with "so then" (Gk hoste). In both cases those opening words tie the verse back to what was just previously said. None of which made any reference to the future Millennium. This makes the WT notion (if true) seem to be a thought 'out of the blue,' so to speak.

Here is an article on the subject. There are a number of such articles if you Google the subject. This one seemed to be as concise and to the point as any.

One of the things I noticed about these online articles is that they seem to stress that Jesus is the Creator, and thus, able to rule over the Sabbath, he being the inventor of it. I mention that because I did not want the discussion to devolve into a trinitarian argument. For myself, the fact that Jesus refers to himself as "Son of Man" (an allusion to Dan 7:13-14) is reason enough to give him authority over the Sabbath. In that role, he was destined to become ruler over everything. Mark's inclusion of "even" seems, to me, to have Jesus saying, 'Since the Son of Man is ruler over everything, then, that would naturally include "even the Sabbath." '

At any rate, I was interested in seeing any and all comments on the topic - not for arguing - but simply for expanding my own horizons.

Bobcat
Hi Bobcat,

Your reasoning above is spot on, thank you.

Love CI
LRW~

apollos0fAlexandria
Posts: 3394
Joined: 7 years ago

Re: "Lord of the Sabbath the Son of Man Is"

#3 Post by apollos0fAlexandria » 3 years ago

Hi Bobcat

I have to agree that a straight reading of the passage has Jesus claiming that he was then, and always had been, Lord of the (literal) Sabbath.

To restrict the meaning to some symbolic future meaning pertaining to the millennium seems forced and out of place.

It seems a person can deny who Jesus really was only if he takes each claim made about him and seeks a loophole in each. But if you put them all altogether it's much harder to escape the conclusion. It's a bit like a rope. Anyone could snap the individual threads, but braid them together as a whole and you can't do it.

Apollos

jo-el
Posts: 1125
Joined: 7 years ago

Re: "Lord of the Sabbath the Son of Man Is"

#4 Post by jo-el » 3 years ago

Bobcat wrote:
3 years ago
the fact that Jesus refers to himself as "Son of Man" (an allusion to Dan 7:13-14) is reason enough to give him authority over the Sabbath. In that role, he was destined to become ruler over everything.
I agree that this is exactly the point Jesus was making. NOT GUILTY, because the Son of Man is PRE-EMINENT, I.e. the first born over all creation.

Bobcat
Posts: 3832
Joined: 7 years ago

Re: "Lord of the Sabbath the Son of Man Is"

#5 Post by Bobcat » 2 years ago

Below is the commentary found in Constable's Notes regarding Mt 12:1-8 and the phrase, "Lord of the Sabbath":

THE SABBATH AND LEGAL OBSERVANCE MATTHEW 12:1-8 (CF. MARK 2:23-28; LUKE 6:1-5)

The immediate connection between this section and what precedes is twofold. The first is the theme of rising opposition (Mt 11:2—13:53), and the second is the heavy yoke of Pharisaic tradition that made the Israelites weary and heavy laden (Mt 11:28-30). The aim of the Sabbath was to provide rest, which Jesus said those who took His yoke upon themselves would find. It was not to provide a burden, which the Pharisees had made it by their traditions.

Matthew recorded that Pharisaic opposition began when Jesus forgave sins (Mt 9:1-8). It increased when Jesus associated with tax collectors and sinners (Mt 9:9-13). Now it boiled over because Jesus did not observe the Pharisees’ legalistic traditions.

“. . . the leaders (Pharisees), in charging the disciples with breaking the law by plucking grain on the sabbath and hence working, do what they heretofore have not done: they engage Jesus himself in direct debate (Mt 12:1-8).”

Mt 12:1 “At that time” does not mean immediately after that but at approximately that time (cf. Mt 9:3, 11, 14, 34; 10:25; 11:19). The Mosaic Law permitted the Israelites to do what the disciples did, namely, pluck a few ears of grain as they passed through a field (Deut. 23:25).

Mt 12:2 The Pharisees criticized Jesus’ disciples for doing what was unlawful under Pharisaic tradition, namely, “reaping” on the Sabbath. The Mishnah listed 39 categories of activity that qualified as work on the Sabbath.

Mt 12:3-4 Jesus responded to the Pharisees’ question with another, in common rabbinic style (cf. Mt 12:5; 19:4; 21:16, 42; 22:31). The record of the incident He cited is in 1 Samuel 21:1-6, and the law governing the use of consecrated bread is in Exodus 25:30 and Leviticus 24:5-9. The house of God that David entered was the tabernacle that then stood at Nob. David and his men ate consecrated bread that only the priests had a right to eat.

The event to which Jesus referred may have occurred on a Sabbath day, though that is not certain (cf. 1 Sam. 21:5-6). That factor is inconsequential as is the fact that David ate after lying to the priests. Another inconsequential feature is that David’s men were very hungry, but Jesus’ disciples were evidently not. Jesus drew this illustration from a time in David’s life when Israel’s leadership was rejecting him. The Son of David was now experiencing similar rejection.

David ate even though it was unlawful for him to do so, yet the Old Testament did not condemn him for his act. Therefore the Pharisees should not condemn Jesus’ disciples for doing something Scripture did not condemn David’s men for doing. Jesus was arguing for His authority to override the Law more than their view of the Sabbath.

Jesus’ disciples were not breaking any Old Testament command concerning Sabbath observance. These laws aimed primarily at prohibiting regular work on the Sabbath. The Old Testament set aside a regulation in the Law for David and his men in the sense that it did not condemn them for what they did (cf. 2 Chron. 30:18-20). Who David was was the important factor in this concession. He was the Lord’s anointed who occupied a special place in Israel. If anyone had a right to do what David did, David did. Could not Jesus then set aside a Pharisaic law that had no basis in the Old Testament for Himself and His men? By arguing this way Jesus was claiming that He was at least as important as David was. The parallels between David and Jesus make Jesus’ veiled claim to being the Son of David obvious.

Mt 12:5-6 Jesus’ second argument came from Numbers 28:9-10. Technically the priests broke the Sabbath every week by changing the consecrated bread and by offering the burnt offerings the Law specified for that day. However the Law considered the priests guiltless for doing this “work” on the Sabbath.

Jesus claimed that something greater than the temple was present. He used the neuter “something” to refer to His authority because He wanted to stress a quality about the temple, its authority, that He as an individual shared with the temple. What is greater than the temple as a symbol of authority is Messiah, a superior authority. Another point of comparison was that God came to meet with His people in the temple and in Immanuel.

In Jesus’ argument the temple was greater than the Sabbath. However, now something greater than the temple was there, namely, Messiah, and specifically, His authority. Consequently Messiah takes precedence over the Sabbath. The Pharisees not only mishandled the Law, but they also failed to perceive who Jesus was. As the temple’s authority shielded the priests from guilt, so Jesus’ authority as Messiah shielded His disciples from guilt. Jesus was not comparing but contrasting the priests’ authority and His authority.

Mt 12:7-8 Jesus again criticized the Pharisees for failing to understand the Scriptures (cf. Mt 12: 3), and He quoted Hosea 6:6 again (cf. Mt 9:13). Previously Jesus had cited this verse to show the Pharisees that they failed to recognize their own need. Now He used it to show them that they failed to recognize Him. The Jews in Hosea’s day relied on mere ritual to satisfy God. The Pharisees were doing the same thing. They had not grasped the real significance of the Law, as their criticism of Jesus’ disciples demonstrated. Jesus accused the accusers and declared the disciples innocent.

“Note that Jesus appealed to prophet [Mt 12:3-4], priest [Mt 12:5-6], and king [Mt 12:7]; for He is Prophet, Priest, and King. Note too the three ‘greater’ statements that He made: as the Priest, He is ‘greater than the temple’ (Matt. 12:6); as Prophet, He is ‘greater than Jonah’ (Mt 12:41); and as King, He is ‘greater than Solomon’ (Mt 12:42).”

As Son of Man, “this man,” Jesus was Lord of the Sabbath. That is, His authority was greater than the authority that God had given the Sabbath over His people. Jesus had the authority to do anything He wished with the Sabbath. Significantly, He abolished its observance when He terminated the whole Mosaic Code even as the temple effectively abolished it for the priests within the Mosaic system.
It is interesting that the whole discussion in the commentary about Jesus' words has no mention of the Millennium, just as the whole passage of Mt 12:1-8 makes no reference to the Millennium. This would also mean that the idea that the Millennium must fit into the last 1000 years of the 7th creative day is also someone's fanciful idea. The events of Rev 20:7-10, which occur after the Millennium would also fit into the 7th creative day. When Jesus said that, "Lord of the Sabbath the Son of Man is," he was not referring to the Sabbath as the Millennium.

Note that some of the commentary is actually Constable quoting of other commentaries as references. You can find the commentary and the sources of the quotes here.

Many of the scripture citations have been reformatted by Bobcat so as to work with the RefTagger app.

Bobcat

Bobcat
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Re: "Lord of the Sabbath the Son of Man Is"

#6 Post by Bobcat » 2 years ago

Here is Constable's commentary from Mark 2:23-28 on Jesus being "Lord of the Sabbath (found here). There are some interesting little differences in the Matthew, Mark and Luke accounts. The commentary helps bring them out:
PICKING GRAIN ON THE SABBATH 2:23-28 (CF. MATT. 12:1-8; LUKE 6:1-5)

Mr 2:23-24 Jesus’ disciples did something that the Mosaic Law permitted when they plucked the ears of wheat or barley (Deut 23:25). However by doing it on a Sabbath day they violated a traditional Pharisaic interpretation of the law. The Pharisees taught that to do what the disciples did constituted reaping, threshing, and winnowing, and that was forbidden work on the Sabbath (Exod 20:10).

Mr 2:25-26 The incident Jesus referred to is in 1 Samuel 21:1-6. Mark was the only evangelist to mention that Abiathar was the high priest then. This seemingly contradicts the Old Testament since Ahimelech, the father or Abiathar, was the high priest then according to the writer of 1 Samuel. The best solution to this problem seems to be that Jesus referred to Abiathar because he was the better-known priest during David’s reign. The phrase “in the time of” or “in the days of” probably means “during the lifetime of” rather than “during the high priesthood of.”

Jesus’ point was this. David technically broke the ritual law by eating bread that only the priests were to eat. Nevertheless he could do so because David was the Lord’s anointed servant. As such, he could do things other Israelites could not do. Furthermore the offense was a matter of religious ritual, not a moral violation of the law, as the Pharisees were implying. Another example of violating the letter of the law to observe its spirit is King Hezekiah’s granting the Israelites who were unclean permission to eat the Passover (2 Chron 30:18-20). God did not object to that either. Another explanation of David’s action is that God permitted it because of the urgency of his situation and that Jesus was claiming that His mission was equally urgent.

The Pharisees failed in two respects. First, they did not distinguish which laws were more important.

“Human need is a higher law than religious ritual.”

Second, they did not recognize Jesus as the anointed Servant of the Lord that the Old Testament predicted would come, the Son of David. Mark did not mention, as Matthew did, that Jesus pointed out that one greater than the temple had come (Matt 12:6). Mark’s emphasis was not on Jesus as the King as much as it was on Jesus as the Lord’s anointed Servant. As God’s anointed Servant, Jesus had the right to provide for His disciples’ physical needs even though that meant violating a tradition governing ritual worship.

Mr 2:27-28 The Pharisees made the Sabbath a strait jacket that inhibited the Jews. Jesus pointed out that God gave the Sabbath as a good gift. He designed it to free His people from ceaseless labor and to give them rest. Sabbath observance had to contain enough elasticity to assure the promotion of human welfare. Jesus’ point was the following.

“Since the Sabbath was made for man, He who is man’s Lord . . . has authority to determine its law and use.”

Only Mark recorded, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mr 2:27). One of his concerns in this Gospel was the welfare of mankind.

Since in the Old Testament the Sabbath was the Lord’s day in a special sense, Mark’s statement about Jesus in verse 28 identifies Him again for the reader as God.[107] Jesus had the right to determine how people should use the Sabbath. As mentioned previously, there is some question as to whether the words in this verse were those of Jesus or of Mark (cf. Mr 2:10).

“. . . the exousia [authority] of Jesus manifests itself vis-a-vis the rabbinic tradition, the religious hierarchy, and the temple tradition. Foremost here is Jesus’ reinterpretation of the Sabbath . . .”

“With this word Mark drives home for his readers the theological point of the pericope. These things were written that they may understand Jesus’ true dignity: he is the Lord of the Sabbath.”
Bobcat

Bobcat
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Re: "Lord of the Sabbath the Son of Man Is"

#7 Post by Bobcat » 2 years ago

And here is Luke's rendition of the "Lord of the Sabbath" account, as commented on in Constable's Notes (found here):
JESUS’ AUTHORITY OVER THE SABBATH 6:1-5 (CF. MATT. 12:1-8; MARK 2:23-28)

The final two instances of confrontation with the Pharisees that Luke recorded involved Sabbath observance. The Sabbath was one of Judaism’s main institutions, and Jesus’ violation of traditional views on Sabbath observance brought the religious leaders’ antagonism toward Him to a climax. Here was a case in point that Jesus’ new way could not exist with Israel’s old way. Sabbath observance had its roots not only in the Mosaic Law but in creation. Furthermore its recurrence every seventh day made it a subject of constant attention.

“The interesting thing about Jesus’ approach is that He was not simply arguing that repressive regulations should be relaxed and a more liberal attitude adopted: He was saying that His opponents had missed the whole point of this holy day. Had they understood it they would have seen that deeds of mercy such as His were not merely permitted—they were obligatory (cf. Jn 7:23f).”

Lk 6:1-2 Mark recorded that the Pharisees voiced their question to Jesus, but Luke wrote that they asked Jesus’ disciples. Probably they did both. Luke chose to relate their question to the disciples apparently because Jesus then stepped in and answered for them (v. 3). Thus Luke showed his readers Jesus’ position as the Master who comes to the defense of His disciples. Luke alone also mentioned the disciples rubbing the ears of grain in their hands, probably to give his readers a more vivid picture of what really happened.

The law permitted people to glean from the fields as they passed through them (Deut 23:25). However the Pharisees chose to view the disciples’ gleaning as harvesting and their rubbing the grain in their hands as threshing and winnowing as well as preparing a meal. The Pharisees considered all these practices inappropriate for the Sabbath.

Lk 6:3-4 Jesus drew an analogy from Scripture (cf. 1 Sam 21:1-9). His point was twofold, first that ceremonial traditions are secondary to human need.

What David did was contrary to the Mosaic Law (Lev 24:9), yet Scripture did not condemn him for what he did (cf. 2 Chron 30:18-20). What Jesus’ disciples did was not contrary to the Mosaic Law, so the Pharisees should not have condemned them for what they did. Why did the Scriptures not condemn David for what he did? They did not because of who David was, namely, the Lord’s anointed. He occupied a special place in Israel. God permitted him to violate the ceremonial law, but not the moral law, without condemnation. In this sense he was above the law. (This may explain why God allowed David to perform some normally priestly functions such as offering sacrifices without rebuke.) Therefore the Son of Man (Lk 6:5), who is superior to David, had the right to set aside a Pharisaic tradition, not a divine law, for the welfare of His followers.

Lk 6:5 Jesus’ second point was that the Son of Man (cf. Lk 5:24), because of who He is, has the right to violate the Sabbath. Jesus was not violating the Sabbath by doing what He did, but He had the right to do so. This was another claim to divine authority, an emphasis that we have seen running through this part of Luke’s Gospel. God is greater than the laws He has imposed, and He can change them when He chooses to do so.

“David did not allow cultic regulations to stand in the way of fulfilling his divine calling of becoming king of Israel. Jesus has a similar mission which makes him ‘Lord of the Sabbath,’ one who is authorized to decide when Sabbath regulations must be set aside to fulfill a greater divine purpose.”

This incident elevates the readers’ appreciation of Jesus’ authority to new heights in Luke.
Bobcat

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