Taking the Message Home: Lord of the Sabbath (Luke 6:1-11)

The further we go in the gospel of Luke the more opposition we see from the religious leaders toward Jesus. Last week Jesus and his disciples were questioned regarding their lack of fasting. This week the questioning surrounds the Sabbath Day from Luke 6:1-11.

In the first story, Jesus disciples pluck heads of grain, rub them together, and eat them for sustenance on the Sabbath day.

  • According to Deuteronomy 23:24-25, it was legal for the disciples to pluck kernels of grain. The Pharisees condemn Jesus disciples because they added their own laws to the law of God. Are there areas beyond the teaching of Scripture that you hold as points of judgment over others?
  • Kent Hughes writes, “The self-righteous mind is not interested in mercy. It is not even interested in truth. Rather, it is interested in observance.” Could this be said of you?
  • What point was Jesus making in his reference to David and his men eating the “Bread of the Presence” in I Samuel 21:1-6? What modern day application could we derive from this illustration?
  • What is the purpose of the Sabbath? What does it mean that Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath? How does this statement sum up Jesus teaching in these stories?

In the second story, Jesus entered the synagogue on the Sabbath day and healed a man with a withered hand.

  • How does verse 9 reveal Jesus understanding of the Sabbath? Compare and contrast Jesus understanding with that of the Pharisees?
  • Why did Jesus healing of the man with a withered hand on the Sabbath upset the Pharisees to such a degree that they were filled with fury and willing to plot to kill Jesus (cf. Matt.12:14, Mark 3:6)?

How do these two stories illustrate the principle of Hosea 6:6, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.”

This passage teaches us that there’s an approach to keeping the law that destroys the intent of the law, and there’s an approach to the law that keeps the intent of the law. How do we know the difference?

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