Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part VIII: Understanding The PURPOSES Of Scripture's Commands In Bible Exposition
(Mark 2:23-28; 3:1-5)
  1. Introduction
    1. In serving Christ, the Servant of God, the believer often is called upon to make decisions in life as to how Scripture's regulations APPLY in areas that are somewhat different in nature from the original command. For example, he is to forsake not assembling together with other believers, Hebrews 10:25, but he cannot make all of the services a given church supplies for him to attend. What about obeying He. 10:25 then?!
    2. When it is hard to sort out the will of God in such a situation, Jesus supplies that input in Mark 2:23-3:5:
  2. Understanding The PURPOSES Of Scripture's Commands In Bible Exposition, Mark 2:23-5:5.
    1. An incident in Christ's ministry occurred involving applying Scripture's commands regarding the Sabbath:
      1. On the Sabbath, Jesus took His disciples through some grain fields, Mark 2:23a.
      2. In the process, the hungry disciples picked some of the grain and began to eat them, Mk. 2:23b. It was legal via Deut. 23:25, but the Pharisees felt is was disobeying the Sabbath work prohibition, Mk. 2:24.
    2. Jesus corrected a misapplication of the Sabbath restriction, pointing to the intent of the original rule:
      1. Jesus revealed that the original intent of the Sabbath restriction on work was to refresh, not to burden:
        1. Using an Old Testament precedent, Jesus showed how David and his very hungry men were allowed to eat the bread of the tabernacle technically reserved for the priests, cf. Mk. 2:25-26 & Lev. 24:9.
        2. Thus, human dire need was to have precedence over ceremony.
        3. In summary, Jesus remarked to His critics that the Sabbath was intended to minister to feed human need, not to add to that need as their Sabbath prohibition against his followers did, Mk. 2:27.
      2. If we examine the original Sabbath rule, we see the validity of Jesus' argument all the more clearly:
        1. When God commanded the Sabbath, He stated that it was to be a time of blessing, Ex. 20:11b.
        2. This idea of refreshment blessing is seen clearly in the expanded regulations on sabbatical YEAR and Year of JUBILEE regulations of Leviticus 25 as follows: (1) In the sabbatical year, every seventh year the land would not be worked, and anybody was free to eat anything, anywhere he found it off of the land's own natural produce, Lev. 25:6. It was refreshing especially to hired slaves!
        3. In the Year of Jubilee, occurring once every 50th year, in addition to the regular sabbatical yearly refreshments included freedom from slavery and the return of lands to slaves, Lev. 25:10,25-28.
        4. Thus, the whole concept of Sabbath, whether it related to the Sabbath DAY or YEAR or Year of JUBILEE was intended to refresh people, the land and animals in God's rest from work!
        5. Thus, to add the burden of inhibiting the disciples from meeting their hunger needs on the Sabbath as did the Pharisees was to violate the concept of refreshment intended by God in making the rule.
    3. Another incident occurred where Jesus revealed the idea of following original intent in applying Scripture:
      1. Upon entering a synagogue on the Sabbath where there was a man with a withered hand, the Pharisees watched Jesus closely to see if they could catch him violating their restriction against practicing medicine on the Sabbath in healing h im, Mark 3:1-2 with Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, ftn. to Mk. 3:2.
      2. Jesus called the man out into the open, and, before addressing his condition, asked the Pharisees if it was better to do good or to do evil on the Sabbath day, Mk. 3:3-4. For Him to have the power to heal a man on the Sabbath but not to do so would have been evil, giving Jesus no recourse but to heal him!
      3. When the Pharisees failed to be able to answer Him, Jesus did what God originally intended to occur on the Sabbath--he refreshed the man by healing him on the spot, Mk. 3:5.
Lesson: God's intent in giving the Sabbath was not to burden man, but to restrict his toil so as to refresh him. As such, the permission of the disciples to eat grain plucked from the fields and the healing of a deformity were all appropriate appl ications of the Sabbatical regulations.

Application: In applying He. 10:25, we must meet often enough to foster love and good works in the body according to the INTENT of assemblage given in He. 10:24! Conversely, if making all the services causes one to violate home and work responsibilities, he is violating the intent of He. 10:24 of fostering good works. We must thus note the divine intent of a Scripture in order to apply it well.