Daily Devotions


Day 58

"They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed."

Text: 1 Peter 2:8b


Mark recorded yet another unpleasant encounter between Jesus and His detractors- the Pharisees this time round. A quick review might prove useful:-

1. The issue of the forgiveness of sins Mark 2:1-12

2. The issue of association with sinners Mark 2:13-17

3. The issue of fasting Mark 2:18-22

The fourth issue centered around the problem of the keeping of the Sabbath.

“Now it happened that He went through the grainfields
on the Sabbath; and as they went His disciples began
to pluck the heads of grain.
And the Pharisees said to Him, ‘Look, why do they do what
is not lawful on the Sabbath?'”
MARK 2:23-24

1. The issue of the keeping of the Sabbath is particularly complex

a) The Mosaic Law
i) The Decalogue listed the keeping of the Sabbath as the 4th Law- Exodus 20:10
ii) There was a severe penalty if this Law was broken- Exodus 31:13-17
iii) A deliberate breaking of the Sabbath could result in death- Exodus 31:15
iv) The Sabbath Law was of particular significance with reference to the Covenant God had established with His people- Exodus 31:16
b) The Traditions of the Elders
i) Traditions saw Israel heaping more and more “laws”.
ii) Over 300 “by-laws” were added to the Sabbath Law alone.
iii) The Keeping of the Sabbath was strictly spelt out.
iv) They went way beyond the original Law given by God.

2. The Charge laid by the Pharisees

They were making reference to their traditions, rather than the original Law God gave to Moses at Mt. Sinai. If their traditions were not honoured, the individual was said to have broken the law (human laws, rather than God’s laws).