What does Mark 2:28 mean?
ESV: So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”
NIV: So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.'
NASB: So the Son of Man is Lord, even of the Sabbath.'
CSB: So then, the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath."
NLT: So the Son of Man is Lord, even over the Sabbath!'
KJV: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
NKJV: Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.”
Verse Commentary:
Mark 2:27–28 are not necessarily direct, word-for-word quotes from Jesus. Instead, they are probably Mark's summary of the event. The belief that the account is a summary and not a full transcript is supported by the extra narrative found in Matthew 12:1–8. Jesus is wrapping up a defense of His disciples for picking and eating grain on the Sabbath. His overall point is that Sabbath laws were meant for the benefit of the people, not as a burden. Nit-picking and overly literal obedience is not meant to override the real purpose of such laws.

The Pharisees have serious objections with Jesus' statement here. He again refers to Himself as "the Son of Man," which is from Daniel's description of the Messiah (Daniel 7:13). It is inconceivable to the Pharisees that this man is the promised savior of Israel. They believe the Messiah will be a man, a great man, but not one who takes such initiative as to forgive another's sins (Mark 2:5–7), socialize with sinners (Mark 2:13–17), disagree with religious leaders on fasting (Mark 2:18–22), or—especially—to endorse what they see as disrespect of the Sabbath.

The phrase "lord even of the Sabbath" is yet more heretical to Pharisaical ears. God established the Sabbath. No man can take authority over God's law. The Pharisees understand that Jesus is declaring He is God. These blasphemous remarks put the Pharisees on the look-out. In the fifth of the five stories of Jesus asserting His authority (Mark 3:1–6), the Pharisees actively watch Jesus to see if He will express such things again. When He does, they decide it is time to seek out His death.
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 5:43:03 PM
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