Monday, May 19, 2014

Jesus Lord of the Sabbath

originally posted 6/5/2015

27 And he said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath."- Mark 2:27-28 [cf. Matt. 12:8; Luke 6:5]
Since Jehovah/Yahweh/YHWH instituted the sabbath and Jesus claims to be "Lord of the Sabbath," Jesus is implicitly claiming to be YHWH. If not, then He's appropriating for Himself prerogatives which alone belong to YHWH. Something which no creature may do.
 So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.- Gen. 2:3
 If Jesus was not claiming deity, in what sense can Jesus be called Lord of the sabbath? When did Jesus become Lord of the sabbath? After his birth? If so, how, and specifically when and why? If Jesus was merely a human messiah, or even the incarnation (in some sense) of an angelic being, why would that entitle him to be "Lord of the Sabbath"? If being Lord of the Sabbath merely means the infallible interpreter of God's Sabbath commandment, then even Moses could have been called that since he could have received revelation from God as to the proper observance of the sabbath during his lifetime.

It makes most sense that Jesus was Lord of the Sabbath at its institution. For that to be the case, he would have to pre-exist his physical birth and be God Himself since it was God who instituted the sabbath (as Gen. 2:3 was already cited). Notice too that the Greek term "kurios" is used for "Lord." It's true that in Greek the term can refer to human lords as well. However, it is also the main word used in the Septuagint to translate the Hebrew tetragrammaton (i.e. the divine name). So, it's not impossible that the writer of Mark (and Matthew and Luke in their parallel passages) was implying or insinuating Jesus was Jehovah Himself in the flesh. Matthew, in his parallel, stating that Jesus said something Greater than the Temple was in their presence [viz. Himself].

Remember too that the Sabbath commandment is part of the Ten Commandments which Almighty God gave to the people of Israel. For Jesus to claim to be Lord of the Sabbath is implicitly to also claim to be Lord of the Ten Commandments. Which is an implicit (if not explicit) claim to full deity since He made this statement in a Jewish context. So, in terms of both 1. the Creation (Gen. 2:3) and 2. the Ten Commandments (Exo. 20; Deut. 5), Jesus appears to be claiming to be YHWH (at least in some sense) with respect to the Sabbath.

See also my blog:

Jesus' "Breaking" the Sabbath as Evidence of His Equality with the Father

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