God’s Guiding Word: Discipleship
Mark 2:18–28: Jesus is questioned about fasting, and the Pharisees question Jesus about Sabbath observances. Jesus references the story of David and his men eating the holy bread that, according to Leviticus 24:9, only the priests were allowed to eat (see 1 Samuel 21:1–6).
18 On one occasion the followers of John the Baptist and the Pharisees were fasting. Some people came to Jesus and asked him, “Why is it that the disciples of John the Baptist and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but yours do not?”
19 Jesus answered, “Do you expect the guests at a wedding party to go without food? Of course not! As long as the bridegroom is with them, they will not do that. 20 But the day will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.
21 “No one uses a piece of new cloth to patch up an old coat, because the new patch will shrink and tear off some of the old cloth, making an even bigger hole. 22 Nor does anyone pour new wine into used wineskins, because the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins will be ruined. Instead, new wine must be poured into fresh wineskins.”
The Question about the Sabbath
23 Jesus was walking through some wheat fields on a Sabbath. As his disciples walked along with him, they began to pick the heads of wheat. 24 So the Pharisees said to Jesus, “Look, it is against our Law for your disciples to do that on the Sabbath!”
25 Jesus answered, “Have you never read what David did that time when he needed something to eat? He and his men were hungry, 26 so he went into the house of God and ate the bread offered to God. This happened when Abiathar was the High Priest. According to our Law only the priests may eat this bread—but David ate it and even gave it to his men.”
27 And Jesus concluded, “The Sabbath was made for the good of human beings; they were not made for the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
Today’s Key Verse: Mark 2:28
[Jesus said:] “So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
How did Jesus respond when questioned about fasting? Who do you think is the “bridegroom” mentioned in verses 19 and 20? It was the custom in Israel to leave some grain unharvested so the poor or hungry travelers could pick some as they passed by a field (Deuteronomy 24:19–22). But picking grain on the Sabbath was considered work—a violation of Sabbath law. How did Jesus respond when questioned about what he and his disciples did? Reread verses 27 and 28. What do Jesus’s words mean to you?
Lord Jesus, you are Lord even of the Sabbath. May all I do and say this day be in accord with your teachings and reflect your love and compassion for all people. Amen.
Mark 3:1–19: The Pharisees begin to plan Jesus’s death.