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The Sabbath Was Made for Man

The Sabbath Was Made for Man

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Published by: Grace Church Modesto on Sep 05, 2011
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“The Sabbath Was Made for Man”(Mark 2:23-28)I. Introduction.A. Orientation.1. How does the Lord set you apart from everyone else on earth? How does Heshow other people you belong to Him?a. Your profession is one important way – when you tell others what He has donefor you, when you witness to them.b. The way you live is another – when you live a holy life, when you love yourneighbor as yourself.c. Your baptism also sets you apart.(i) When you take a public stand for Him and receive baptism.(ii) In some countries to be baptized as a Christian is to sign your deathwarrant.d. There is at least one other way the Lord sets you apart that we don’t oftenthink of, and that is the Sabbath.(i) When your neighbors see that you don’t work on the Sabbath; when theydon’t see you playing the same games or doing the same things they do;when they see you going to church, this sets you visibly apart from theworld.(ii) This is one of the reasons the Lord ordained the Sabbath – so that youmight provide a witness to others of His truth – which is why it’s veryimportant that you keep it.2. But there are other reasons.a. This day isn’t just a day for you to show the world you’re a Christian.b. It is a day the Lord created for you to bless you.B. Preview.1. The account we read of this morning takes place on the Sabbath.a. Jesus and His disciples were making their way through the grainfields, and asthey were, the disciples were picking the heads of grain and eating them.b. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to Jesus, “Look, why are they doingwhat is not lawful on the Sabbath?”c. Jesus answered with a question.(i) Had they not heard of what David did, how when he was running fromSaul, how he had to leave quickly so that he didn’t have any food forhimself or his men?(ii) How he came to Nob, to the house of God, and asked for food, but all theyhad was the consecrated bread?(iii) How the Law said that only the priests could eat that bread, but howAhimelech gave that bread both to David and his men and they ate?
 
2d. The point is, there are exceptions to Law.(i) When life is in danger, when mercy dictates, the Law must be broken.(ii) This is also true of the Sabbath.(iii) Jesus says, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for theSabbath.”(a) The Lord didn’t make you to keep this law.(b) The Lord made this Law to be a blessing to you.2. This morning, let’s consider two things:a. Why the Lord instituted the Sabbath.b. What exceptions mercy requires on the Sabbath.II. Sermon.A. First of all, why did the Lord institute the Sabbath?1. He did it for your good, for your well-being. That’s why He established it fromthe very beginning, at the end of the Creation week.a. We read in Genesis 2:2-3, “By the seventh day God completed His work whichHe had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which Hehad done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it Herested from all His work which God had created and made.”(i) When the Lord finished His work of creation, He entered into His rest.(ii) He set that day apart from all the others and made it holy.(iii) And He did this not for Himself, but for you.b. The Lord knows you better than you know yourself – He knows you need theSabbath.(i) He knows you need rest – which is why He commands you not to work:“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor anddo all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of the LORD your God;
in it 
you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your maleor your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you.For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and allthat is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessedthe sabbath day and made it holy” (Ex. 20:8-11).(a) You need to rest every week.(b) Without it, you’ll grow weak, sick and eventually die.(ii) He also knows you need worship.(a) Your soul needs spiritual rest in the Lord’s presence.(b) When you worship, the Lord ministers to you, He communes with you,He gives you of His Spirit to refresh your soul.(c) That’s why He wants you to rest from your work on this day – so youcan worship.(iii) And He knows you need a constant reminder of why He made you.(a) He didn’t make you for this world, but for the world to come.
 
3(b) The Sabbath helps keep your focus above; it can help you moveforward by reminding you of what life is all about.(c) It reminds you that the end of your life here is not the end of your life.(1) So many people live as though this is all there is – they try to get asmuch fun and pleasure as possible while they can.(2) But if you understand that life continues after your body dies, thatwhat you do here determines what kind of life you will have hereafter,it can change the whole direction of your life.(3) Instead of living for the day, or trying to have as much fun as youcan here, you live so that you will be prepared to move from thisworld into the next – you work here to have a comfortable death – agood conscience that you’ve done the right thing, that you will pass judgment safely because of Jesus, and have a blessed eternity.(iv) He knows you need rest; He knows you need worship; He knows youneed to be reminded of your purpose – He made this day for your good.2. And so you are to keep this day holy.a. By resting from your work, by separating yourself from the world, by spendingthe whole day with the Lord, communing with Him and looking forward to theday when you will enter into His rest.b. You are also to help others do the same.c. The Sabbath was made
 for 
you – not only does it help you to be a witness forHim, it brings all these blessings to you.B. Second, what are the exceptions that mercy requires on the Sabbath?1. The exceptions are works of necessity and mercy.a. The disciples were traveling and became hungry:a. That’s why they were picking the grain in the first place.b. The law allowed them to do this in another man’s field to meet their needs –they weren’t stealing.c. The Lord said through Moses, “When you enter your neighbor’s vineyard,then you may eat grapes until you are fully satisfied, but you shall not putany in your basket. When you enter your neighbor’s standing grain, thenyou may pluck the heads with your hand, but you shall not wield a sickle inyour neighbor's standing grain” (Deu. 23:24-25).b. But the fact that it was the Sabbath brought a dilemma:(i) Should I not pick the grain because I shouldn’t do any work? Or should Ipick it to preserve my life?(iii) The Jews believed it was sin:(a) John Gill writes, ““Their rule is. . . he that reaps (on the sabbath day)ever so little, is guilty (of stoning)’ . . . and ‘plucking of ears of corn isa derivative of reaping’; and is all one as its primitive, and punishablewith the same kind of death, if done presumptuously: so Philo the Jewobserves, that the rest of the sabbath not only reached to men, bond and

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