Lord of the Sabbath - (Mark 2:23-28)

In the Synagogue
This paragraph from Mark 2:23-28 and the next one focus on issues concerning the Sabbath Day and rabbinical regulations governing conduct on it.
Genesis speaks of God ceasing from his creative activities on the seventh day but the formal establishment of the Sabbath as a regulated day was not until the Law given to Moses at Sinai. 
The disciples were walking on the Sabbath Day. It was forbidden to journey on the Sabbath more than a short distance, the so-called “Sabbath day’s journey.” How far the disciples walked is not stated. By the time of Jesus, the traditional regulation specified travel of no more than 1,999 paces on the Sabbath, approximately eight hundred meters.
The disciples were plucking ears of grain and rubbing them in their hands to separate the grain from the chaff. This was considered “reaping and winnowing” in the eyes of the Pharisees, work activities prohibited on the Sabbath. 
(Mark 2:23-3:6) - “And it came to pass, that he on the Sabbath was passing through the cornfields, and his disciples began to be going forward, plucking the ears of corn. And the Pharisees were saying,— See! why are they doing, on the Sabbath, what is not allowed? And he saith unto them—Have ye never read what David did when he had need and hungered,—he and they who were with him: how he entered into the house of God, while Abiathar was High-priest, and the presence-bread did eat,—which it is not allowed to eat, save unto the priests,—and gave unto them also who were with him? And he was saying unto them—The Sabbath for man was made, and not man for the Sabbath: So that the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath” [Citation from the Emphasized Bible]. (Parallel passages: Matthew 12:1-8; Luke 6:1-5). 
Matthew adds the following to this story - “Or have ye not read in the law that on the Sabbaths the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are blameless? But I say unto you, something greater than the Temple is here! If, however, you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the blameless” (Matthew 12:5-7). 
It was permissible for anyone passing through a grain field to pick grain by hand for immediate personal consumption (Deuteronomy 23:25). The Pharisees objected not to violation of property rights or theft, but because the disciples were doing this on the Sabbath.
In the Torah, harvesting by sickle was forbidden on the Sabbath. By Christ’s time, rigorist groups like the Pharisees evolved the Law’s Sabbath regulations into an extensive and minute set of rules. Picking a few ears of grain by hand became defined as “reaping.”
Jesus responds with a counter-question from the life of David (1 Samuel 21:1-6). David and his men were living an outlaw existence. One day they were famished. The story referred to the “show-bread” or the “bread of the presence,” twelve loaves of sanctified bread placed before the “presence” of the Lord in the Tabernacle each week on the Sabbath day. Only priests could eat this bread.
The circumstances from David’s story are not precisely parallel to those of Jesus and his disciples. The disciples are not in a state of physical distress. Jesus did not cite David’s violation of Torah regulation as an excuse but as a precedent.
Since Jesus is the Greater David and the true King of Israel, if that which is holy (the show-bread) was set aside for David, how much more appropriate is it to set aside that which is holy for the Greater David?
Jesus’ statement, “the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath,” was quite appropriate. In their zeal to obey the law, some had forgotten the purpose of the Law: to do good to mankind.
As a day of rest and worship, God did not intend that a man or woman be deprived of the necessities of life. The Sabbath was for mankind’s well-being. Even slaves and animals were allowed to rest on the Sabbath. “The Sabbath was for the sake of man, not man for the sake of the Sabbath.” 
Since the Sabbath was made for man’s benefits, it follows that the “Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath” because he is the designated representative and ruler of Israel. In the Greek sentence “Lord” is emphatic. The construction is unusual and designed to emphasize the point: Jesus’ authority as “Son of Man” and “Lord.” Literally, it reads: “consequently, Lord is the Son of Man of the Sabbath.”
Sabbath restrictions were not absolute. Temple priests engaged in “work” on the Sabbath and other feast days to fulfill their priestly duties. The priests performed their work in the Temple.
Jesus, the Son of Man, is the "something greater than the Temple.” If priests were allowed to violate the Sabbath in the Temple and Jesus was greater than the Temple, then how could he be restricted in his work by Sabbath regulations?

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