Mark 2:27 (KJV)
And he said unto them,
The sabbath was made for man,
and not man for the sabbath
From other translations:
And Jesus said to them, The Sabbath was made on account and for the sake of man, not man for the Sabbath; [AMP] And he said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. [ESV] The Son of Man is no lackey to the Sabbath. He's in charge!" [MSB] Then he said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. [NIV] Then he said to them, "The Sabbath was made to benefit people, and not people to benefit the Sabbath. [NLT] And He said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. [NKJV]
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In this text the Lord Jesus reminds the Pharisees that the day of rest is made for man, and not the other way around. On that day man is given an opportunity to rest from all daily activities and to delight in the Lord and His service.
From Him we have received the opportunity to rest physically, but above all to rejoice in the service of the Lord. Thus the Lord has given us the day of rest. This is once again underlined by the Son of God.
Why? Because the Pharisees dealt with the Sabbath commandment, as if the Sabbath had a purpose in itself, regardless of the meaning it ought to have for man. They had made endless determinations and commandments, and as a result of which the purpose for which this day was given by God was nullified.
The day of rest had become a day for the Pharisees by all kinds of provisions, separate from the meaning that this day should have for mankind.
Hundreds were the provisions of ‘what should’ and ‘what was not allowed’.
As a result, the real meaning of this special day was lost.
I cannot completely escape the impression that this is sometimes the case among us as well. This is allowed and that is not allowed.
However, let me be brief on this. On the day of rest we may do anything that is to the glory of God. And anything contrary to that we need to forsake.
Especially on the day of rest we may do this, that we will faithfully go up to God’s house to learn from God what is pleasing to Him. Let us also be careful not to overshoot the purpose of this good and great day by our human determinations. God’s day is a holy day. We have to keep this day holy.
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