THE LORD OF THE SABBATH
WHY IS CHRIST CALLED THE LORD OF THE SABBATH?
The Pharisees really wanted to accuse Christ of something and truth be told, they couldn't find much. They jumped him and his disciples about eating a handful of grain as they walked through a field on the Sabbath. He was not harvesting a crop, which would have clearly broken the Sabbath. He and his disciples were simply eating a snack. And in case one might accuse them of stealing, we have to remember that in Israel, farmers were commanded not to gather every grain nor to reap the corners of their fields. Leviticus 19:9 God commanded this because he is merciful. This was a means of providing food for poor people, travelers and for anyone passing by who might be hungry.
"But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was hungry, and they that were with him; and how he entered into the house of God, and did eat the Shew Bread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests? Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the Sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are blameless? But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple. But if ye had known what this means, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath day." Matthew 12:3-8
There is a reason why Christ called himself Lord of the Sabbath. Number one, he was a Jew. He never ever kept the first day of the week. And in fact, the earliest churches of God were Jews who kept the Sabbath solely. The day of worship was not changed from Saturday to Sunday until around 400 years after Christ died. It was changed by the Gnostics of the Nicene Council. Gnostics did not like the God of Israel, they did not teach a Jewish Messiah who was coming to rule the world, which the Bible does teach.
Number two, Christ was the creator of the world, he was not dumping the Sabbath, he MADE the Sabbath! Therefore, he could declare that he was indeed the Lord of the Sabbath. And the Bible backs up that Christ was the creator in many places. Forensic proof? Yes!
Forensic point one
Forensic point two
Forensic point three
The reason Christ called himself Lord of the Sabbath is that he was the one standing there at creation...he was the one who made the heavens and the earth and instituted the Sabbath in the first place. Who were they to correct him? He certainly was not guilty of breaking his own law, he says "But if ye had known what this means, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath day." Matthew 12:3-8
The Gnostics later try to use this very scripture to field their false concept that 'Since Christ is Lord of the Sabbath, hey, you can do anything you want on the Sabbath because it is done away.' They teach all of God's (Christ's) law is done away. Yet, Christ said in John 14:15, "If you love me, keep my commandments." He called them HIS commandments. The Gnostics wanted to get rid of the notion of a Jewish messiah who taught the commandments. The sin of the Gnostics is that they took away from the law and, the sin of the Pharisees is that they added to the law!
These were the 2 troubling problems that the whole early church had to deal with! It explains the confusion about Paul's writings. In some areas of his ministry, he was dealing with hardcore Jews adding to the law---and in other areas, he was dealing with Gnostics who wanted to do away with everything. Christ did not have to deal with the Gnostics in his lifetime. But he did have to deal with over zealous Jewish men, with a tendency to add to the law.
"Do not add to what I command you and do not take away from it, but keep the
commands of the LORD your God that I give you." Deuteronomy 4:2
THE CHURCHES OF GOD
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The Churches of God