The Sabbath and Mark 2:23-28 – “The Sabbath Was Made for Man”

Here, we will examine Mark 2:23-28 and how it teaches that the Sabbath is still a relevant command for Christians today, as well as answer some objections.

Mark 2:23-28

23 One Sabbath he was going through the grainfields, and as they made their way, his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. 24 And the Pharisees were saying to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” 25 And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: 26 how he entered the house of God, in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?” 27 And 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.”

Mark 2:23-28

Interpretation

In Mark 2:23-28, Jesus does not say that the Sabbath was made for the Israelite nation, but rather that it was made for ”’man”’. This suggests at least two things:

  1. Jesus is saying that the origin of the Sabbath was not Sinai, which was only for the Israelite nation, but rather creation—for Adam and all of his descendants.
  2. The purpose of the Sabbath is humanitarian in nature, and is thus more general and universal than merely a ceremonial ordinance given in a temporary covenant.

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