Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson are going camping. They pitch their tent under the stars and go to sleep. In the middle of the night Holmes wakes Watson up.
Holmes: "Watson, look up at the stars, and tell me what you deduce."
Watson: "I see millions of stars, and even if a few of those have planets, it's quite likely there are some planets like Earth, and if there are a few planets like Earth out there, there might also be life."
Holmes: "No Watson, you idiot, somebody's stolen our tent!"
This morning Jesus is Holmes. The Pharisees are the Watson. It’ll be Jesus saying, “No Pharisees, you idiots!”
Why? Because they missed the point.
Sit-coms often use missing the point for their humor. Husband misses the point with something his wife says. Teenager misses the point his dead’s trying to make. We laugh along because we’ve been there.
But what we’ll read about today isn’t so funny. The Pharisees missed the point of God’s law and a lot of people have suffered because of it.
We’re in the Gospel of Mark. The series is “Introducing…Jesus.” Each Sunday a unique aspect of who Jesus is. This morning he is “Lord of the Sabbath.”
Gospel written by Mark. But the consistent tradition in the church is that it’s really the apostle Peter behind it. Likely from mid-60s AD. During reign emperor Nero.
Mark 2:23–3:6. Sermon will have three points: (1) The Lord of the Sabbath, (2) The Lord of the Needy, (3) The Lord of the Lord’s Day.
Read/pray: Open our hearts. TFC: (Craig) Frisco, (Paul B) Boston, (Jacob Y) NH.
Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. (Exod 20:9–10)
3 basic responses:
2nd response: He interprets God’s intention with the Sabbath — Mark 2:27
But somewhere along the way, the idea that it was a blessing to make lives easier and better got lost.
Third response and most important—WHO JESUS IS!!—Mark 2:28.
Only God can freely dictate what is “lawful” and “unlawful” on the Sabbath.
Here we’ll see Jesus as the Lord of the Needy as well.
In this second part of the passage it gets even more personal with the Pharisees. Seems like the same group. Let’s read Mark 3:1–6.
The situation: Sabbath gathering in the synagogue. Man with a withered hand—some chronic condition likely painful and probably debilitating in some way. In that culture would have branded him deficient in certain ways.
Jesus uses it to directly challenge the Pharisees — now Jesus asks the question.
Their tradition said it was “lawful” to save a life on the Sabbath. Under certain conditions—how desperate is the situation, etc.?
But Jesus expands the idea: “To do good.” Well, that would depend. At this time, healing wasn’t allowed. Do that on the other 6 days.
Again, MISSING THE POINT! Not a Joke!
Jesus saw their hearts.
That’s sobering, isn’t it, that Jesus can read minds and see hearts perfectly.
His response was to HEAL because here was a MAN IN NEED and he could help. He’s the Lord of the Needy.
The reaction of the Pharisees? “HARDNESS OF HEART” on full display—plot to kill him.
Lesson for us?
Go to the Lord of the Needy!
Since the Sabbath is described here, let’s think about the Sabbath for the Christian.
I know, I know: “You preached this last May. We remember it all!” In case not…
Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath. What does he teach us in the rest of the NT?
Lord of the Sabbath and Colossians 2:16–17:
16 Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. 17 These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. (Col 2:16–17)
The Lord’s Day:
I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet (Rev 1:10)
On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight. (Acts 20:7)
On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come. (1 Cor 16:2)
Christ took the Sabbath into the grave with Him and brought the Lord's Day out of the grave with Him on the resurrection morn.
We gather with the people of God. We gather as we’re able. We gather to sing…pray…encourage one another…hear God’s Word read and proclaimed…take the Lord’s Supper…baptize new believers…offer our lives by offering some of our money to the work of the Lord…
Risk? True, there’s risk to gather in a pandemic. There’s a greater risk to you if you don’t find a way to gather. “Gathering” virtually is something, not nothing.
3 responses in closing:
 For this interpretation see R.T. France (NIGTC, 147–148) and David Garland (A Theology of Mark’s Gospel).
 Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield, Selected Shorter Writings (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1970), 319.
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