Class Notes: 8/4/2013

Mark 2:23;- Mark 3:4; Jesus opposes the Pharisees evil religion

In our study of Mark we are in Mark 2:23; where we see Jesus and His disciples being criticized for picking and eating grain as they walked by a field on the Sabbath. We saw that the Pharisees had added over 2500 regulations to God's simple command not to work on the Sabbath. Exod 20:10-11;

Mark 2:24; So the Pharisees immediately found fault when the disciples took advantage of God's provision for the Sabbath day, and they objected, saying to Jesus, "why do they do what is against the law on the Sabbath day?"

But there was nothing in the Mosaic law that said that this was contrary to anything that God had commanded. The Jewish leadership had added so many rules to the law that they believed were just as valid as God's law that in their mind Jesus' disciples were violating God's law even though they weren't.

This is a perfect example of refusing to obey illegitimate mandates while at the same time submitting to legitimate authority when discipline is imposed and you are under it.

Mark 2:25-26; Jesus' response references the precedent set by David and his soldiers when they were hungry and in need (1Sam. 21:1-6;). The words "his soldiers" (NET) and "in need" are key elements in this incident.

David entered the tabernacle court, requested the Holy bread (Lev 24:5-9;) that was restricted to the priests according to the Mosaic law (Lev 24:9;) took it and gave some to his soldiers.

Jesus used this precedent that God did not condemn, to show that the Pharisees' narrow tyrannical interpretation of the Law contradicted God's intention because in the spirit of the law human need is a higher priority than ritual ceremony. He makes the point in verse 27.

Mark 2:27; "The Sabbath was made for mankind, not mankind for the Sabbath"

Jesus is saying His disciples have a right to eat on the Sabbath and that religion has misrepresented the whole purpose of the Sabbath and as a result is completely wrong regarding the restrictions placed on what can be done on the Sabbath.

The principle is that we are to live our lives as unto the Lord, not as unto the rules of mixed up, hypocritical, self-righteous, legalistic and religious people. The Jews' religion and ritual ceremonialism are misrepresenting the grace that God had intended for it to represent.

In their zeal to please God with meticulous conformance to the ritual plan the Jews had completely missed the more important underlying principle of grace. Mark 7:7; Rom 10:1-4;

Mark 2:28; "For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath." In other words, the Sabbath day was made for the Lord, not the Lord made for the Sabbath. Therefore if the Lord wants to tell what the Sabbath means and how it is to be used he has the right to do so.

The word for "Lord" is a reference to deity. Jesus Christ is God and the Sabbath was made to point out His grace. Net note 58

He was clearly identifying Himself as Deity with these words. If they had had ears to hear, they would have understood this. In the Decalogue the Sabbath is called "the Sabbath of the Lord;" (Exod 20:10; NASB) and when Jesus declared Himself to be Lord of that day of rest He is clearly identifying Himself as the God of Israel in the flesh.

Mark 3:1; Jesus goes to the synagogue (on the Sabbath) and a man who had a paralyzed hand was there. Net note 4

Mark 3:2; The Pharisees were spying on him to see if he would heal on the Sabbath. Net notes 5 and 7

They were watching to see if he would heal him so that they could accuse Him of breaking the Sabbath. Remember we saw that the Talmud says that it wasn't even lawful to stop bleeding on the Sabbath.

The legalism of religion is always a source of oppression even as grace is always a source of freedom and liberation from tyranny.

They watched Him covertly to see if He would exercise His power to heal on the Sabbath, so that they could accuse Him of violating the law even though it was really just traditions of men based on the Rabbinical law.

This is the evil thinking of self- righteous people that appear to be pious and righteous but are actually divorced from God and His integrity.

Mark 3:3; Jesus, from whom nothing was hidden because He could read their minds like an open book, told the partially paralyzed man to "Stand up in the middle of the room" Net note 8

Mark 3:4; Then the Lord asked the question, "Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill?" but no one answered.

Jesus' question is based on the presumption that if their purpose is to glorify God by doing good why would that be any different on the Sabbath? His question makes it clear that their real purpose is not to glorify God or to do good. They are simply advancing their hidden agenda (acquisition of power) behind a rhetorical veil (appearing to do good).

Mark 3:5; After looking around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, He said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored.

Knowing their hypocrisy He looked around at them with anger. This is righteous indignation because of their pretence of honoring God while simultaneously exhibiting their lack of interest in helping anyone but themselves.

This is the only explicit reference to Jesus' anger in the New Testament. It was nonmalicious righteous indignation coupled with deep grief at their obstinate insensitivity and disregard for the man's situation.

The hardness of their hearts grieved Jesus. He then commanded the man to out his hand and He healed it. Net note 12

Jesus then demonstrates the fact that He is God and proceeds to heal the man. "Then said he to the man, Stretch forth your hand." Undoubtedly there are other people in the synagogue who were sick but He doesn't heal anyone else. "He stretched it out; and his hand was restored"

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