What does Mark 2:27 mean?
ESV: And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.
NIV: Then he said to them, 'The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.
NASB: Jesus said to them, 'The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.
CSB: Then he told them, "The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath.
NLT: Then Jesus said to them, 'The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath.
KJV: And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
NKJV: And He said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.
Verse Commentary:
Pharisees are accusing Jesus' disciples of breaking the laws of the Sabbath by picking and eating grain. In response, Jesus has pointed out that those same Pharisees would defend David's act of taking ceremonial bread from the temple—a far more blatant violation. In Matthew's account of this same incident, Jesus also points out that the priests work on the Sabbath (Numbers 28:9–10; Matthew 12:5); He uses the hyperbole they "profane the Sabbath" to express just how hard they work. And yet they are guiltless. It is also permitted to water and feed animals and relieve unnecessary suffering. Why not have the same concessions for people?

In short, Jesus makes it clear that the Law has a greater purpose than to be followed with blind, careless literalism. There is a meaning behind God's law, and some of God's purposes are higher than others. Caring for the needs of the needy, for instance, is more important than ceremonial rituals.

Once again, Jesus uses the Jewish tradition that the Pharisees follow to prove His point. In one commentary on Exodus 31:14, a rabbi suggests that "it is holy for you" actually means "holy unto you," or "You shall keep the Sabbath for your sake." Another comments "The Sabbath is given to you but you are not surrendered to the Sabbath." This means that, according to the Pharisees' own line of logic, strict Old Testament rules regarding the Sabbath are for the people's benefit. They are not intended to be a burden or a sacrifice.

Jesus addresses this in Matthew 12:7, a parallel account of Mark 2:23–28. He says, "I desire mercy, and not sacrifice." The Sabbath is to be a mercy, not a sacrifice, and allowing hungry people to eat is a great mercy. If this is true for the disciples, it's true for us, as well. Although the church is not required to observe the Sabbath in the same ceremonial ways as the Jews, it would still do us good to take God's offer to rest.
Verse Context:
Mark 2:23–28 demonstrates how, the more Jesus shows His authority, the more the Pharisees resent Him and take notice of His unorthodox ways. Here, as Jesus' disciples break the Sabbath, is the first time the Pharisees directly confront Him. The Law's Sabbath-day restrictions were preparing food (Exodus 16:23–26), working (Exodus 20:8-11; 31:12–17), kindling a fire (Exodus 35:3), farming (Leviticus 25:1–7), and carrying a burden (Jeremiah 17:19–22). But priests (Numbers 28:9–10; Matthew 12:5) and guards (2 Kings 11:4–9; Nehemiah 13:15–22) still worked. Rather than arguing whether the disciples broke the letter of the Mosaic Law, Jesus argues that it's all moot: He is the Lord of the Sabbath. This story is also found in Matthew 12:1–8 and Luke 6:1–5.
Chapter Summary:
Mark chapter 2 follows the typical style of Mark's gospel with a rapid succession of stories. Jesus heals a man who cannot walk, but only after declaring the man's sins to have been forgiven. Jesus then calls Levi, one of the publically-reviled tax collectors, as a disciple and is seen eating with those the Pharisees view as ''sinners.'' Jesus then answers a challenge about fasting and defends His disciples when they violate the Pharisees' views on keeping the Sabbath. All of these events are met with some resistance from Jesus' critics. He responds in each case with a spiritual, reasonable defense.
Chapter Context:
In Mark chapter 1, Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist then led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit where He was tempted by Satan. He also taught and healed in Capernaum and throughout Galilee. In chapter 2, having returned to Capernaum, Jesus displays authority over four particular areas: the forgiveness of sins, social traditions, extra-biblical religious traditions, and the Sabbath. In response, the Pharisees—legalistic religious leaders—escalate their antagonism toward Him, culminating in a direct condemnation of His teachings. This sets the scene for Mark 3:6 when the religious and national leadership first get the idea to destroy Jesus.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Mark emphasizes both Jesus' servanthood and His role as the promised Messiah: the Son of God. This is done through a concise, action-packed style. Mark provides relatively few details, instead focusing on actions and simple statements. This relates to the Gospel's authorship, which is believed to be based on the memories of the apostle Peter. These include many of Jesus' miracles, in contrast to other Gospels which include many more of Jesus' teachings and parables. Mark also makes frequent mention of Jesus' ministry being misunderstood by others.
Accessed 5/26/2024 5:30:34 PM
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