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Lord of the Sabbath

By Joe Boot/ October 2, 2016

Series  Mark: The King and His Kingdom

Context  Westminster Chapel Toronto

Topic  Covenant

Scripture  Mark 2:13-3:6

The Sabbath is about God's covenantal relationship to the cosmos in which He providentially governs all things. In the Sabbath we are blessed and liberated from slavery to sin so that we may serve the living God.

Scripture:  Mark 2:13-3:6

Sermon Notes:

  1. The gospel claims our whole lives and sets us apart for service to the King.
  2. As the truly obedient Son, Jesus is God’s servant engaged in the re-creation of all things.
  3. Everything is dependent on God’s creation; the gospel tells us of a purposeful creation and Christ enters that creation that He might redeem it.
  4. Jesus has unique authority which was disputed by the religious leaders and is still contested by people in our day.
  5. Creation and re-creation are book-ends to the story of the gospel. Jesus’ authority puts Him beyond the challenge of the religious authorities of the day.
  6. The scandal of Jesus is seen in His calling of a tax collector to be His disciple.
  7. Jesus is ignoring the religious conventions of the day and asserting that it is the sick who need healing.
  8. The leaders would not recognize the significance of Jesus’ presence, which did not fit into their religious traditions.
  9. The power of the new creation requires new forms.
  10. The religious establishment seeks to trap Jesus, working in anti-thesis to God’s creative work.
  11. In Canada Bill C-16 seeks to criminalize verbal opposition to queer gender theory, defying God’s creative order.
  12. The Sabbath is about the ongoing covenantal relationship that God has to the cosmos. The seventh day of creation transitions God’s creative work to His providential governing of the created order.
  13. Legalistic Sabbatarian theologies have been in error; but in our culture we face the opposite error in libertarian disregard for God’s ordinance.
  14. When you deny the created order you deny the Sabbath, which leads to denying God’s covenant relationship to His creation.
  15. The world seeks to deny any definable relationship between the divine and the created world.
  16. The Sabbath calls us to a lifestyle of holy worldliness.
  17. Because the Sabbath is rooted in creation it is binding on all people.
  18. As the only true Sabbath-keeper, Jesus has the unique ability to interpret it. Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath.
  19. The Sabbath blesses and liberates us from slavery so that we may serve the living God. This is the meaning of freedom from slavery to sin.
  20. Under the Pharisees’ rules, the day designed for rest became a heavy burden for people to bear.
  21. The purpose of the Sabbath law is to refresh and renew us in service to God. The true intent of God’s law brings freedom and leads to the redemption of life.
  22. In correcting the Pharisees, Jesus refers to David’s eating of the show bread (1 Sam. 21:1-6). If David could eat the priests’ holy bread, how much more could Jesus contradict the Pharisees’ Sabbath traditions?
  23. Jesus restored the withered hand that the man might be restored to the service of God. Christ came to do good, to save life.
  24. Our libertine culture claims to be offering freedom and doing justice, but is in fact destroying lives. We need to have a righteous anger combined with grief at our culture’s rebellion.
  25. Many people say that they cannot believe, cannot repent unless they see a sign; but there is no sign that can convince people in the grip of sin (cf. Luke 16:29-31).
  26. The only thing that can persuade is faith in the Lord Jesus who gives us victory over sin and Satan.
  27. Worship is directed toward service. We are not here on spiritual retreat. The church is to work to spread the Sabbath rest to all of creation.

Application Questions:

  1. What is Christ’s role in creation and re-creation?
  2. What is the relationship of Jesus’ authority to that of the Pharisees?
  3. Compare the attitude of our culture with that of the religious leaders of Jesus’ day.
  4. What is the purpose of the Sabbath in God’s creation order?
  5. When Jesus delivers us from slavery to sin, what is His purpose for our lives?