Gleans from Monday Bible Study with Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.
DLBC Gbagada HQ
20th May 2019
Study 11 – THE LORDSHIP OF CHRIST OVER THE SABBATH
Text – Mark 2:23-28; Matthew 23:1-4; Mark 7:5
Mark 2:23-28 “And it came to pass, that he went through the corn fields on the the sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn” (Mark 2:23). Notice those words, ‘on the sabbath day’, this will be the center of our Study tonight and of the argument, conflicts and confrontation of the Pharisees with the Lord Jesus Christ. They looked at the attitude of the disciples and what they did on the Sabbath day, that Christ did not correct them, and were not comfortable with that (Mark 2:24-25). They asked a question, and Jesus cleared their doubts and resolved the issue by asking them a question, “And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungred, he, and they that were with him?” (Mark 2:25). The Sabbath was made for the profit, good and progress of man, “And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath” (Mark 2:27). And He told them about the His authority as the Lord of the Sabbath (Mark 2:28).
The Law of Sabbath was given to the children of Israel for their good, but the Pharisees had turned it into a yoke of oppression; they added to the word of God and what was good and profitable became unprofitable unto the people. They singled out the law of the Sabbath and negated all the other aspects of the Ten Commandments, but Jesus Christ told the people, “All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not” (Matthew 23:3). One major problem with the Pharisees, and with many religious leaders and priests of today is, ‘they say and do not’. They do not have the strength because they are not born again and therefore do not have the power of regeneration in their hearts and lives. They do not have the grace to do what they are teaching or preaching. They laid burdens on people, that they themselves will not carry (Matthew 23:4). Are there people today who preach hard, tough or heavy messages but they will not do what they are preaching; why? because they do not have the strength to do what they are preaching. They only talk but they cannot walk the talk. The Lord is warning us that we should not be like the Pharisees that will isolate one doctrine, law or principle of the Bible, and muddle that up to the exclusion of all the other laws or doctrines, thus making it of non-effect. “Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?” (Mark 7:5). They were not concerned with the word or laws of God but the traditions of the elders. Something in the realm of hygiene became more important than the holiness of hearts and lives. They were honoring the Lord with their lips and tongue; their hearts were not cleansed, purified but far away from God. They left the commandments of God and were now teaching their own traditions, the commandments of men (Mark 7:6-13). As you look at your own personal life, are there some traditional things – denomination, elders, religion, that have become prominent in your life that you forget the word of God? then you are in the same boat with the Pharisees.
Point 1: THE PROVISION OF LIBERALITY FOR THEIR SUSTENANCE
Mark 2:23; Deuteronomy 23:24-25; Leviticus 19:9-10; Deuteronomy 24:19-21; Leviticus 25:6-7; Exodus 23:11; 2 Corinthians 9:8-9; Romans 12:13; Galatians 2:9,10; 6:9,10; Acts 20:35
The Lord made provision for the Jews so that their poor will not lack, nor will the rich oppress the poor with their riches. “And it came to pass, that he went through the corn fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn” (Mark 2:23). As a believer, what do you think of that? The Lord Jesus Christ was going on His normal evangelistic work, and as He was passing through a field, the disciples helped themselves to ears of corn to satisfy their hunger. Why did they do that since they were not the owners of the field? “When thou comest into thy neighbour’s vineyard, then thou mayest eat grapes thy fill at thine own pleasure; but thou shalt not put any in thy vessel. When thou comest into the standing corn of thy neighbour, then thou mayest pluck the ears with thine hand; but thou shalt not move a sickle unto thy neighbour’s standing corn” (Deuteronomy 23:24-25). They were free to do that, to take and eat it there but not put in their vessels. It was a provision that the Lord had made for all the children of Israel without discrimination. When reaping, they were not to reap or glean everything away, but leave some for the poor and strangers to glean from (Leviticus 19:10). What the disciples did was not stealing but a provision made for the children of Israel. But for us in the Gentile Nations, you cannot go through the fields of others and pluck their fruits to eat; that will be stealing. But for the children of Israel, it was ok because it was a provision of the Lord for them. “When thou cuttest down thine harvest in thy field, and hast forgot a sheaf in the field, thou shalt not go again to fetch it: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow: that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hands. When thou beatest thine olive tree, thou shalt not go over the boughs again: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow. When thou gatherest the grapes of thy vineyard, thou shalt not glean it afterward: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow” (Deuteronomy 24:19-21). The Lord was telling them that they should always leave something behind for the poor, fatherless and widows in their midst, and not to glean all their harvest. So we are learning a principle here, that in all your earnings, profits or gains, you don’t spend everything on yourself or family, there are poor people, the fatherless and widows in the land and neighbourhood. Think of them, and part of your earnings and income will go to them to take care of them. The increase and the Sabbath are for everyone, so the poor and the hungry Israelite can go to the standing corn and eat to their satisfaction when they are hungry. It was a provision from the Lord that none of the children of Israel will die of hunger. I pray that none of the children of the Lord and our members will die of hunger in Jesus’ Name. We will make provision and allowance for them in our eating, clothing and education of our children. We will take care of the poor, fatherless and the widows among us, together with their children in Jesus’ Name (Exodus 23:10,11). We learn from that how we are to be generous, giving to people, taking care of the poor and strangers in our midst. “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8). When God has provided for you that you have sufficiency in all things, then you are not to spend everything on yourself, but that you will abound unto every good work of taking care of the sick, poor, neighbours, underprivileged people, fatherless and the widows. In your life, you must have a testimony that you are a generous Christian, not selfish, nor self-centred, that the people who are less privileged than you are, are benefitting from your generosity, wealth, provision and giving. This is counted as righteousness (2 Corinthians 9:9). The grace of God is manifesting in his life as he gives to others who are poor. “Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality” (Romans 12:13). We must be addicted and given to hospitality. This implies that in our lives, you must find somebody that is poor, dying of hunger and in penury, and you make provision for their sustenance. “Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do” (Galatians 2:10). There is liberality provided by the rich for the poor in the Jewish nation, so this same provision should be available for the Gentiles as well, to take care of the poor among them. Feeding the poor, clothing the naked, providing for the needy, let us not be weary in well doing. Even to unbelieving neighbours, we are to show kindness. I pray that God will touch every heart so that we will make provision for the sustenance of the poor, widows and fatherless among us. “I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). It is more blessed to give; even of that little you have, you can take a fraction and be a blessing to other people as well. Don’t be at the asking end always. Let what you have make provision of other people around you, no matter how small. Be a giver and not just a receiver.
Point 2: THE PURPOSE OF THE LAW ON SABBATH
Mark 2:24-26; Luke 10:26-27; Acts 13:27; 2 Corinthians 3:14-16; Deuteronomy 5:15; Ezekiel 20:12,20; Isaiah 56:1-8; 58:13-14; Matthew 28:1-8; Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2; Revelations 1:10-18
Yes, God gave the Law, and He wanted the children of Israel to understand the purpose of that Law, to obey and follow through. Sometimes when you have a law or commandment, and you do not understand its purpose nor your responsibility as a result of that law, you will not be able to fulfil the Will of God and please the mind of the Almighty. The Pharisees did not understand the purpose of the law on Sabbath, so the Lord Jesus Christ was asking them, “And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungred, he, and they that were with him? How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him?” (Mark 2:25-26). The Shewbread was a holy instrument (fresh bread) placed in the holy place, the middle part of the tabernacle. It was a symbol of their offering unto the Lord, and only the priests could eat of that. However, David and his army were not priests but ordinary people, but at the time of their hunger, they were given the shewbread to eat, and God did not condemn them for doing that. So the Pharisees did not understand the purpose of the Law of God given unto them. “He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?” (Luke 10:26). Anytime you have confusion, question or doubt in your mind, go back to the Word of God and checkup what is written there. This is how to resolve every problem and find answer to every question of life. “For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him.” (Acts 13:27).Those religious people read the word of God on the Sabbath, but they did not understand it. And till today, the religious people who read the Old Testament and do not understand the purpose of that law, still fall into the trap of the Pharisees. “But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away” (2 Corinthians 3:14-16). They read but the traditions and doctrines of men have blindfolded them; their understanding is dull and their hearts are covered, so the word of God is not clear to them. But when we come to Christ, He cleanses us and takes away the veil to expound the word of God to us. May every veil be taken away from our minds and understanding in Jesus’ name.
See why God gave the Israelites, the Law of the Sabbath, “And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day” (Deuteronomy 5:15). The keeping of the Sabbath is not a universal law, it is specific to the nation of Israel only. He gave the children of Israel the Sabbath as a sign between Him and them; so that on the Sabbath day they will rest from their work, go to the Synagogue to hear the word of God, learn to love and know God more, and His will and provision made for them in heaven. “And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the LORD your God” (Ezekiel 20:20). God set apart the Sabbath for the children of Israel so that the priests and prophets will come before them and declare the word of God to them. He wanted them to keep the Sabbath so that they will leave their fields and go into the Sanctuary to hear about salvation and righteousness on that day (Isaiah 56:1). They will hear the word of God and depart from evil, “Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil” (Isaiah 56:2). They will hear of the promises and power of God to turn their lives around, learn to choose the things that please Him and get to know how to connect with the Lord in prayer (Isaiah 56:3-4,7). It is also a day to bring other people to know God, to evangelize and edify the people (Isaiah 56:8). But the Pharisees forgot the main purpose of the Sabbath. “If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.” (Isaiah 58:13,14). They were to remember that the Sabbath is a holy day, not holiday; not a day for sports, entertainment or to fulfil the pleasures of the flesh: but worship God in holiness and righteousness, for without holiness no man shall see the Lord. It is a day to honour the Lord and concentrate totally on the word of God given to them (Isaiah 58:14).
Now for the believers under the New Testament dispensation, why don’t we keep Saturday, the Seventh day of the week as our Sabbath day? For the New Testament believers, our redemption was accomplished on the First Day of the week which is Sunday. On the first day of the week, Jesus rose from the dead and gave us redemption, justification, salvation. So believers began to worship the Lord on the First day of the Week, Sunday and not Saturday. “In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week….” (Matthew 28:1). On the first day of the week, that was when the Resurrection of Christ took place to grant us our redemption. “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread …” (Acts 20:7). The Early Church broke bread on the first day of the week, and not on the Sabbath. The preaching, exhortation and lifting up of hands, of the people, identification with Christ Collection for the saints (1 Corinthians 16:1) were on the first day of the week. The whole of the Sunday was committed unto the Lord and hearing of the word of God. That first day became the Lord’s Day. Messages from the Lord Jesus to the seven churches came on the Lord’s Day “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet …. What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; …” (Revelations 1:10,11). So, the first day of the week we New Testament believers come to worship, hear Him and dedicate our all to God. I pray that we not slide back to traditions and religion without righteousness; but that we serve the Lord every day of our lives appropriately and effectively in Jesus Name.
Point 3: THE PRE-EMINENCE OF THE LORD, OUR SAVIOUR
Mark 2:27-28; John 20:26-29; Romans 10:9-10; Colossians 2:16-19; Philippians 2:5-11; Revelations 19:15-16
He is the Lord of the Sabbath as well. “And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath” (Mark 2:27,28). The Sabbath was made for the soul and body of man, so that he will recover all the physical strength that he has spent during the six days of working. The soul will be refreshed, renewed and restored on the Sabbath day. When you glorify God, making Him your all in all, first position in your life, you are making Him the Lord of lords and King of kings and surrendering your totality to Him. “And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God” (John 20:28). So, when you come to the Lord to worship, remember He is Lord of your life and family, and that is your blessing. We get saved when we recognize and receive Jesus as Lord, and that He died and rose from the dead for our justification. When you believe that in your heart and confess it with your mouth, then you will be saved (Romans 10:9-10). He is the Lord of Glory (1 Corinthians 2:7-8). He is the Lord of our lives and the whole universe, and as we recognize Him as such, he lives mighty and strong in our lives. All the things that God established with the children of Israel were all shadows, and the reality has now come in the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ has become the Lord of all, and because of that we worship Him as our Saviour, Sanctifier, Baptizer in the Holy Ghost, Healer, Provider of everything, and our Sufficiency. Jesus is Lord, and He will be the Lord of your life, family and every day in your life, aspiration, ambition and that will take you into Heaven in Jesus Name. He is the Son of God, equal with God; He died for our salvation and, “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth:”( Philippians 2:9,10).
“And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS” (Revelations 19:16). He is Lord of the Sabbath and has dominion and power over your future and everything in your life, family and every circumstance in your life. So, remember whether on a Sunday or any other day, let Jesus be Lord of all in your life, and serve Him. You will not run away from the Lordship of Christ in your life in Jesus Name.
Ponder on this! The Law of Sabbath was given to the children of Israel for their good, but the Pharisees had turned it into a yoke of oppression; they added to the word of God and what was good and profitable became unprofitable unto the people. Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.
Ponder on this! Anytime you have confusion, question or doubt in your mind, go back to the Word of God and checkup what is written there. This is how to resolve every problem and find answer to every question of life. Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.
Hard Sayings – It is more blessed to give; even of that little you have, you can take a fraction and be a blessing to other people as well. Don’t be at the asking end always. Let what you have make provision of other people around you, no matter how small. Be a giver and not just a receiver. Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.
Reflection – One major problem with the Pharisees, and with many religious leaders and priests of today is, ‘they say and do not’. They do not have the strength because they are not born again and therefore do not have the power of regeneration in their hearts and lives. They do not have the grace to do what they are teaching or preaching. They laid burdens on people, that they themselves will not carry Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.
Words on the Marble – So, remember whether on a Sunday or any other day, let Jesus be Lord of all in your life, and serve Him. You will not run away from the Lordship of Christ in your life in Jesus Name. Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.
Key Words – They only talk but they cannot walk the talk. Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.
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