The Sabbath Was Made For Man

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Mark 2:27 “The Sabbath was made for man…”

It took me a very long while to even begin to understand this scripture.  I have heard people use this very scripture to argue for and against the keeping of the Sabbath Holy and I must admit both sides sounded really plausible. It’s probably the very reason why I couldn’t understand this scripture.

Why didn’t I understand this scripture and what changed?

My focus was too concentrated on the word “Sabbath” therefore my thought process and understanding were cloudy and fruitless.  For me to finally grok this scripture, I had to temporarily replace the word Sabbath with words like food, house, car and money.  As soon as I did, insight overpowered obscurity and understanding was made simple.

Food for thought

Food is made for man and not man for food.  What is the purpose of food? To feed man with nutrients.

A House is made for man and not man for a house.  What is the purpose of a house? To shelter man from the elements.

A car is made for man and not man for a car.  What is the purpose of a car? To transport man from place to place.

Money is for man and not man for money.  What is the purpose of money? To purchase our needs and, or wants.

In all of these examples:

  1.  Man is the sole beneficiary in the parallel; not the food, house, car or money.
  2. The food, house, car and money does not profit anything from man.
  3.  Man exercises the privilege, choice to enjoy food, house, car, and money.
  4.  Man’s neglect for food, house, car and money does not affect the items but the man.

I then applied the same principles to this scripture, THE SABBATH WAS MADE FOR MAN AND NOT MAN FOR THE SABBATH

The Sabbath made for man is for man’s benefit, not the sabbath.

The Sabbath does not profit anything from man if man keeps it holy or not.

Man holds the privilege to partake and enjoy the blessings of the sabbath. It’s his choice.

Man neglecting to keep the Sabbath Holy can only affect man, not the Sabbath.

God, in His infinite wisdom and sovereignty, chooses to bless the Sabbath day above every other day. “…And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy.” Genesis 2:3

Blessings are attached in keeping the sabbath. Isaiah 58: 13-14.  

He then declared the seventh day a Holy Day or a “holiday” to be celebrated weekly.  Where is the danger, harm in keeping the Sabbath Holy?

Of the Ten Commandments God gave to man, the only one God asked us to remember is the one we have chosen to forget the most. “…Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.” Exodus 20:8

Mark 2:27 “The Sabbath was made for man.”  

If we believe this scripture – that God created the sabbath for man, we must also believe that God introduced the Sabbath to Adam and all his descendants up until Moses.  Why would God create the Sabbath for man with all its blessings and deprive man of enjoying the Sabbath? Of all the things God created in the beginning, why should we suggest that the Sabbath is the only thing discarded after creation?  Some argue that the Sabbath was not mentioned in scripture after creation, up until The Law was given on Mount Sanai. Hence making it insignificant.

I can also argue the fact that there is nowhere in scripture to justify that Adam and his descendants up until Moses breathed oxygen daily all the days of their lives.  Yet it is inferred from Gen 2:7. Oxygen was made for man, We don’t need any scripture to prove that man breathed oxygen after creation. Likewise, the Sabbath was made for man, why do we need a scripture to prove it was celebrated.

After careful observation, I have come to the conclusion that some Christians subconsciously hate two words with a passion: 1. The Sabbath  2. The Law.  When you calmly listen to fellow Christians talk about The Sabbath and The Law, you would almost want to believe Satan created the sabbath and wrote The Law.  To prove my point, tell a fellow Christian you keep the Lord’s Sabbath holy and see what happens. You will be put through a quick spiritual diagnostic scan to ascertain your spiritual sanity. It was God that created the Sabbath.  It was God that wrote The Law.

It is claimed that because Christ resurrected on the first day of the week, we should no longer keep the Sabbath holy but Sunday.  The problem with that is, Since the resurrection of our Lord, the Early Church continued to keep the Sabbath Holy for 321 years, thereafter.  It wasn’t a biblical reason that caused the switch from Saturday to Sunday. It was a decree from Emperor Constantine in AD 321

Why do Christians regard Sunday as the Sabbath instead of Saturday?

On the 7th March 321 AD, Constantine I “The Great” decreed Dies Solis – Day of the Sun or “Sun-day” – as the Roman day of rest (Codex Justinianus 3.12.2):

 “On the venerable day of the Sun let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed. In the country, however, persons engaged in agriculture may freely and lawfully continue their pursuits because it often happens that another day is not suitable for grain-sowing or vine planting; lest by neglecting the proper moment for such operations the bounty of heaven should be lost”.

This is the decree that commanded Christians to stop keeping Saturday holy.  If Christians were already keeping Sunday holy as some would suggest, there would have been no need for this decree.

It has been 1699 years since this decree. Yet, man is still looking for biblical justification to hold on to Sunday over Saturday as the true Sabbath.  The real question is, do we want to continue to honour man or God? Your choice.

The early church continued to honour the sabbath after the resurrection.

Ac 13:14  But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down.

Ac 13:42  And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath.

Ac 13:44  And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.

Ac 15:21  For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.

Ac 16:13  And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted [thither].

Ac 17:2  And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,

Ac 18:4  And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.

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