Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
303-665-6105
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PENTECOST 2 – June 3, 2018 – Mark 2:23-28 “THE SABBATH: IT’S FOR YOU!”

INTRODUCTION:  Grace be to you and peace, from God our Father, and from our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.  Our text is the Gospel Lesson just read, from Mark 2.  We begin with prayer.

 

Dear fellow disciples of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ:

 

  • One of the critical distortions of our natural – that is, our fallen, sinful – state of being, is that we think that we are created principally to serve God, and secondly, that He does very little to serve us.
  • Benjamin Franklin held to a particular view of God’s relationship to the world, to earth, to nature, and also to us. His religious philosophy is known as “Deism.”  Deism teaches that God created everything, and wound it up kind of like a great cosmic spinner – and then determined that He would just sit back and watch it.
  • This belief system cannot fathom people, individuals, having a close and personal relationship with Almighty God. Deists think of humans as having been created for the purpose of fulfilling a role or function in God’s creation.
  • The more highly developed religions also see mankind as principally created to serve God, and also to earn and merit standing and status with God, to earn His love and to earn our salvation. These religions also miss the most critical thing about God – His great love for us, His desire to bless us and give to us, to have us as His dear children, His family.  
  • The Biblical and Christian understanding – based upon what Jesus taught, what is in the Bible, is quite different. In our text Jesus makes this abundantly clear.  The reality is that we are the climax and apex of God’s creative work, and that everything was created and provided for us, to serve us. 
  • Yes, we also serve God. But truthfully, we can only properly serve Him AFTER He has served us.  And frankly, this is what the “Sabbath” commandment is all about – our good and welfare.  Jesus said it:  “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”  And Jesus makes clear that He is the correct and authoritative voice in this matter, for:

 

I.  Jesus, The Son Of God, Is Lord Of The Sabbath

 

Text:  “So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”

 

A.  He Declares That The Sabbath Was Instituted For The Sake Of Mankind, For You

 

Text:  The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”

 

1.  Sabbath literally means “rest” – and we need it

 

 

2.  The Sabbath is also an opportunity for us to focus on God’s goodness, including His deliverance and salvation, as revealed in His Word, the Holy Scripture

 

Text:  “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: 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?” 

B.  Therefore, For Our Sake, For Our Blessedness And Good, God Commands The Sabbath To Be Kept

 

Exodus 20:8-11  “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 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. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”

 

Statement:  This was the passage that the Pharisees had in mind when they objected to the behavior of Jesus’ disciples, and criticized them.  Obviously, the commandment did not exclude eating – which Jesus made clear His disciples were doing.  The Pharisees added more stringent requirements to the Law, their own laws.  That way people would be kept far from actually breaking the commandment, and that way the Pharisees would even supersede the demands of God’s Law.  But all of this demonstrates a grotesque ignorance of God – namely, that He is principally concerned with us, our good and welfare, and that everything is intended to serve and benefit us!

 

Application:  So we must take care not to allow our natural, distorted understanding about God and His goodness to continue infecting our thinking!  The first change that we need to make is to understand that God is better, more filled with goodness than we are.  Second, we must understand the dignity which God created and imbued us with.  We are not mere servants of nature, mere servants of rules and laws.  We are God’s dearly beloved children.  God loves us, and desires to serve us.  He created and implemented everything for us, for our good and benefit.

 

Transition:  And this also is an important purpose of the Sabbath rest that God has instituted for us:

 

II.  The Sabbath Celebrates And Revels In God’s Goodness

 

A.  In Worship He Binds Himself To His People, And Worship Binds His People To Him

 

1.  He is present with us in worship

 

Matthew 18:20  “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”

 

Matthew 26:26-28   “Take, eat; this is My body.   . . . Drink of it all of you, for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

 

1 Cor. 10:16  “The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?”

 

Luke 10:16  “The one who hears you hears Me.”

 

2.  By observing the Sabbath we demonstrate publicly that we are God’s people

 

Acts 2:42,46  “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. . . . And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,    praising God and having favor with all the people.”

 

B.  All Of God’s Law Is Like This – For Our Good And Benefit, And For Us To Do Good, As People Of God

 

Rom. 13:8-10  “Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.  For the commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,’ and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’   Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”

 

Statement:  So you see that our understanding of God, His nature, His will, His purposes in giving us His Law, has to change.  It is not that He has created us for onerous burdens, or to be little “servants” of laws.  Rather, He created us out of great love, and has ordered everything to serve us, to bless us, to provide good to us.  We are His children, and He is the King.  That makes us royalty as well! 

 

Application:  His good and gracious will for us is to see how He desires to be with us, to richly bless us, to be our God, our Heavenly Father.  He desires for us to “keep” the Sabbath – to receive His presence, to receive His blessings – forgiveness, new life, and salvation.  He wants us to proudly bear His Name as His children – to also bind ourselves in  loyalty to Him!   And then we will surely do good as well – on the Sabbath, and on every day of the week.  For “IT’S ALL FOR YOU,” everything God has created and decreed and established.

 

Conclusion:  How sad that the Pharisees refused to see the goodness of God and receive His blessings in Christ Jesus, the Son of God, Who gave Himself into death to take away our sins and save us, and Who now reigns and rules over all things.  How sad that Deists, and all those who labor under the delusion that they must earn God’s favor and love, refuse and reject God’s goodness, His gracious mercy and forgiveness and wisdom, that He seeks to give us in worship.

 

And how sad that many who bear the name “Christian,” who have been baptized and joined to Christ and the family of God, either do not see the rich blessings that God bestows in worship, or do not judge these blessings to be good and important enough to have as the first and highest priority in their lives. 

 

May it never be so for any of us!  The Sabbath is for you!  The Lord of the Sabbath says so.  His rich blessings are upon us each time we gather together here!  He is here as well, our blessed Heavenly Father, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit of God!

 

Thanks and praise be to Him forever, Amen.

 

Votum:  And the peace of God, which surpasses all human understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds in true faith, which is in Christ Jesus, even unto life everlasting, Amen.