In his epistle written around A.D. 66, John Mark began his letter by introducing John The Baptist, God’s messenger by describing how his role was to announce the coming of the Messiah, and baptize Him in the Jordan River so Jesus could fulfill all righteousness, and be identify with those He came to redeem.
After He was baptized, Christ was tested by Satan in the wilderness for forty days but the Messiah persevered and resisted temptation as He prepared for His ministry, which He started in Galilee while John The Baptist was imprisoned for rebuking Herod Antipas.
The Lord’s ministry began along the Sea of Galilee where He recruited His first four apostles, Simon, Andrew, James and John, who were all fishermen from Capernaum, a small fishing village located on the northern shore of the lake. This was the location where Jesus performed His first recorded miracle when He healed a possessed man, delivering him from a demon. Jesus followed His first miracle with another when He miraculously healed Simon’s mother in law who was gravely ill, then as word spread about these healings, the entire population of the city gathered outside the house door where Jesus answered the call to heal the sick.
The next morning, Jesus rose before sunrise and departed to a solitary place to pray and prepare for the day which He used to preach the gospel and heal more people in need as He embarked on a missionary journey through the region which eventually lead him back to Capernaum where He furthered His ministry through preaching and healing the sick.
“23 Now it happened that He went through the grainfields on the Sabbath; and as they went His disciples began to pluck the heads of grain. 24 And the Pharisees said to Him, “Look, why do they do what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” (Mark 2:23-24)
The Sabbath was a day of rest which God created for both Himself as well as for man, and in the days of Jesus, various Mosaic laws surrounded the seventh day of the week. One of those laws forbade anyone to work less they should sin against God. However, another law superceded the “no toiling on the Sabbath” law which permitted travelers who did not have food to eat to take from the fields enough grain, in this case corn to satisfy their hunger.
Here, the Pharisees regarded the disciples’ actions as work, when in fact, they were merely picking the corn to eat it, which was indeed permitted by the same law Mosaic law they were claiming to enforce.
“25 But He said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he was in need and hungry, he and those with him: 26 how he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the showbread, which is not lawful to eat except for the priests, and also gave some to those who were with him?” (Mark 2:25-26)
Next, Jesus challenged the Pharisees on their knowledge of scripture citing the instance when David and his companions were allowed by the priest Ahimelech, to eat the sacrificial showbread found in the Tabernacle. David’s situation was extraordinary as he and his men were being hunted by King Saul, a man possessed by an evil spirit who drove him to kill David and those with him.
“27 And He said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. 28 Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27-28)
Lastly, Jesus reminded the Pharisees of God’s intention for the Sabbath, that it should be a day of rest for those who labor for 6 days, then rest their bodies and shift their focus on God for one day. It had become displeasing to God that the law imposed a countless number of rules upon man for the Sabbath, and Jesus declared Himself as Lord of the day of rest, Lord of all. Let’s pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives,
We praise you Lord for the wisdom found through the gospel of Mark,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we continue to learn more about you through your word.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your ways, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre