Here is the text I will be working out of for Sunday 11/4/12. I welcome your thoughts questions and perspectives.

Here is the process I go through during the week in my prep feel free to interact with it. I am looking for constructive question, opinions, insight etc, on any part or step of the process you do not need to contribute to every question. I have added some commentary helps and notes to help you out as well 🙂

Mark 2:23–28 (ESV)

23 One Sabbath he was going through the grainfields, and as they made their way, his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. 24 And the Pharisees were saying to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” 25 And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: 26 how he entered the house of God, in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?” 27 And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”


  • Genre: What kind of writing are we studying
  • Mark 1:2–16:20 Gospel, Gospel Narrative
  • Mark 2:23–28     Gospel, Gospel Narrative, Pronouncement Story: Controversy
  • Mark 2:25–26     Gospel, Gospel Narrative, Pronouncement Story: Controversy, OT Allusion
  • Mark 2:27–28     Gospel, Gospel Narrative, Pronouncement Story: Controversy, Authority Saying
  • Where is it in relation to redemptive history? The following is Graeme Goldsworthy’s list.
1. Creation by Word In the beginning God created everything that exists. He made Adam and Eve and placed them in the garden of Eden. God spoke to them and gave them certain tasks in the world. For food he allowed them the fruit of all the trees in the garden except one. He warned them that they would die if they ate of that one tree. Genesis 1 and 2
2. The Fall The snake persuaded Eve to disobey God and to eat the forbidden fruit. She gave some to Adam and he ate also. Then God spoke to them in judgment, and sent them out of the garden into a world that came under the same judgment. Genesis 3
3. First Revelation of Redemption Outside Eden, Cain and Abel were born to Adam and eve. Cain murdered Abel and Eve bore another son, Seth. Eventually the human race became so wicked that God determined to destroy every living thing with a flood. Noah and his family were saved by building a great boat at God’s command. The human race began again with Noah and his three sons with their families. Sometime after the flood a still unified human race attempted a godless act to assert its power in the building of a high tower. God thwarted these plans by scattering the people and confusing their language. Genesis 4–11
4. Abraham Our Father Sometime in the early second millennium BC God called Abraham out of Mesopotamia to Canaan. He promised to give this land to Abraham’s descendants and to bless them as his people. Abraham went, and many years later he had a son, Isaac. Isaac in rum had two sons, Esau and Jacob. The promises of God were established with Jacob and his descendants. He had twelve sons, and in time they all went to live in Egypt because of famine in Canaan. Genesis 12–50
5. Exodus: Our Pattern of Redemption In time the descendants of Jacob living in Egypt multiplied to become a very large number of people. The Egyptians no longer regarded them with friendliness and made them slaves. God appointed Moses to be the one who would lead Israel out of Egypt to the promised land of Canaan. When the moment came for Moses to demand the freedom of his people, the Pharaoh refused to let them go. Though Moses worked ten miracle–plagues which brought hardship, destruction, and death to the Egyptians. Finally, Pharaoh let Israel go, but then pursued them and trapped them at the Red Sea (or Sea of Reeds). The God opened a way in the sea for Israel to cross on dry land, but closed the water over the Egyptian army, destroying it. Exodus 1–15
6. New Life: Gift and Task After their release from Egypt, Moses led the Israelites to Mount Sinai. There God gave them his law which they were commanded to keep. At one point Moses held a covenant renewal ceremony in which the covenant arrangement was sealed in blood. However, while Moses was away on the mountain, the people persuaded Aaron to fashion a golden calf. Thus they showed their inclination to forsake the covenant and to engage in idolatry. God also commanded the building of the tabernacle and gave all the rules of sacrificial worship by which Israel might approach him. Exodus 16–40; Leviticus
7. The Temptation in the Wilderness After giving the law to the Israelites at Sinai, God directed them to go in and take possession of the promised land. Fearing the inhabitants of Canaan, they refused to do so, thus showing lack of confidence in the promises of God. The whole adult generation that had come out of Egypt, with the exception of Joshua and Caleb, was condemned to wander and die in the desert. Israel was forbidden to dispossess its kinsfolk, the nation of Edom, Moab, and Ammon, but was given victory over other nations that opposed it. Finally, forty years after leaving Egypt, Israel arrived in the Moabite territory on the east side of the Jordan. Here Moses prepared the people for their possession of Canaan, and commissioned Joshua as their new leader. Numbers; Deuteronomy
8. Into the Good Land Under Joshua’s leadership the Israelites crossed the Jordan and began the task of driving out the inhabitants of Canaan. After the conquest the land was divided between the tribes, each being allotted its own region. Only the tribe of Levi was without an inheritance of land because of its special priestly relationship to God. There remained pockets of Canaanites in the land and, from time to time, these threatened Israel’s hold on their new possession. From the one–man leaderships of Moses and Joshua, the nation moved into a period of relative instability during which judges exercised some measure of control over the affairs of the people. Joshua; Judges; Ruth
9. God’s Rule in God’s Land Samuel became judge and prophet in all Israel at a time when the Philistines threatened the freedom of the nation. An earlier movement for kingship was received and the demand put to a reluctant Samuel. The first king, Saul, had a promising start to his reign but eventually showed himself unsuitable as the ruler of the covenant people. While Saul still reigned, David was anointed to succeed him. Because of Saul’s jealousy David became an outcast, but when Saul died in battle David returned and became king (about 1000 BC). Due to his success Israel became a powerful and stable nation. He established a central sanctuary at Jerusalem, and created a professional bureaucracy and permanent army. David’s son Solomon succeeded him (about 961 BC) and the prosperity of Israel continued. The building of the temple at Jerusalem was one of Solomon’s most notable achievements. 1 and 2 Samuel; 1 Kings 1–10; 1 Chronicles; 2 Chronicles 1–9
10. The Fading Shadow Solomon allowed political considerations and personal ambitions to sour his relationship with God, and this in turn had a bad effect on the life of Israel. Solomon’s son began an oppressive rule which led to the rebellion of the northern tribes and the division of the kingdom. Although there were some political and religious high points, both kingdoms went into decline, A new breed of prophets warned against the direction of national life, but matters went from bad to worse. In 722 BC the northern kingdom of Israel fell to the power of the Assyrian empire. Then, in 586 BC the southern kingdom of Judah was devastated by the Babylonians. Jerusalem and its temple were destroyed, and a large part of the population was deported to Babylon. 1 Kings 11–22; 2 Kings
11. There Is a New Creation The prophets of Israel warned of the doom that would befall the nation. When the first exiles were taken to Babylon in 597 BC, Ezekiel was among them. Both prophets ministered to the exiles. Life for the Jews (the people of Judah) in Babylon was not all bad, and in time many prospered. The books of Jeremiah and Ezekiel indicate a certain normality to the experience, while Daniel and Esther highlight some of the difficulties and suffering experienced in an alien and oppressive culture. Jeremiah; Ezekiel; Daniel; Esther
12. The Second Exodus In 539 BC Babylon fell to the Medo–Persian empire. The following year, Cyrus the king allowed the Jews to return home and to set up a Jewish state within the Persian empire. Great difficulty was experienced in re–establishing the nation. There was local opposition to the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the temple. Many of the Jews did not return but stayed on in the land of their exile. In the latter part of the fourth century BC, Alexander the Great conquered the Persian empire. The Jews entered a long and difficult period in which Greek culture and religion challenged their trust in God’s covenant promises. In 63 BC Pompey conquered Palestine and the Jews found themselves a province of the Roman empire. Ezra; Nehemiah; Haggai
13. The New Creation for Us The province of Judea, the homeland of the Jews, came under Roman rule in 63 BC. During the reign of Caesar Augustus, Jesus was born at Bethlehem, probably about the year 4 BC. John, known as the Baptist, prepared the way for the ministry of Jesus. This ministry of preaching, teaching, and healing began with Jesus’ baptism and lasted about three years. Growing conflict with the Jews and their religious leaders led eventually to Jesus being sentenced to death by the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate. He was executed by the Romans just outside Jerusalem, but rose from death two days afterward and appealed to his followers on a number of occasions. After a period with them, Jesus was taken up to heaven. Matthew; Mark; Luke; John
14. The New Creation in Us Initiated After Jesus had ascended, his disciples waited in Jerusalem. On the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit came upon them and they began the task of proclaiming Jesus. As the missionary implications of the gospel became clearer to the first Christians, the local proclamation was extended to world evangelization. The apostle Paul took the gospel to Asia Minor and Greece, establishing many churches as he went. Eventually a church flourished at the heart of the empire of Rome. Acts
15. The New Creation in Us Now As the gospel made inroads into pagan societies it encountered many philosophies and non–Christian ideas which challenged the apostolic message. The New Testament epistles shows that the kind of pressures to adopt pagan ideas that had existed for the people of God in Old Testament times were also a constant threat to the churches. The real danger to Christian teaching was not so much in direct attacks upon it, but rather in the subtle distortion of Christian ideas. Among the troublemakers were the Judaizers who added Jewish law–keeping to the gospel. The Gnostics also undermined the gospel with elements of Greek philosophy and religion. New Testament Epistles
16. The New Creation Consummated God is Lord over history and therefore, when he so desires, he can cause the events of the future to be recorded. All section of the New Testament contain references to things which have not yet happened, the most significant being the return of Christ and the consummation of the kingdom of God. No clues to the actual chronology are given, but it is certain that Christ will return to judge the living and the dead. The old creation will be undone and the new creation will take its place. The New Testament
  • Subject: What is the passage about? Look at it’s context and surrounding [i]text. 
    • Lordship of Christ,
    • Rising opposition surrounding Jesus politically and religiously.
    • PARALLEL PASSAGES   Mt 12:1–4 || Mk 2:23–26 || Lk 6:1–4    

Topics: What are the ideas in the passage? Abiathar

  • Ahimelech
  • Chief Priests
  • Church, Christ, Head of
  • Consecrated Bread
  • Jesus, The Christ, History of
  • Jesus, The Christ, Humanity of
  • Jesus, The Christ, Names, Appellations, and Titles of
  • Sabbath, Son of Man,
  • Teachings of Jesus


  • Key Words / Identify the natural divisions (paragraphs and sentences) of the text. / Connecting Words of the text/ (how do they aid in understanding the authors progression of thought)
    • What stands out as important?
    • Original languages / Grammar
      Word range of meaning during the time and culture?
      Determine the meaning the authors intended by the author.

Mounce says…

Noun: σάββατον (sabbaton), GK 4879 (S 4521), 68x. sabbaton means “Sabbath.” It is a transliteration of the Hebrew word šabbāt and is related to the verb šābat, which is used of God’s resting on the seventh day of creation (Gen 2:2–3).

The concept of the Sabbath is prevalent throughout the OT and NT. Generally speaking, work is prohibited on the Sabbath. Rabbinic works are replete with lists of what is permitted or prohibited on this day. Various unavoidable obligations (mortal danger, helping in the event of severe sickness, childbirth, the preparation and implementation of burnt offerings) supersede the Sabbath law. The Sabbath was a time of celebration at home with feasting, the inviting of guests, and special blessings closing the day. It was also a time for worship in the temple or synagogue (Lk 4:16; Acts 13:5, 14, 42–44; 14:1; 16:13; 17:2, 16; 18:4; 19:8).

sabbaton in the NT agrees with Jewish usage and is in keeping with what is known from Jewish sources, e.g., priestly work is permitted (Mt 12:4–5), picking ears of corn is banned (Mk 2:23–28), helping the sick is allowed only in life or death situations (3:1), the body of Jesus is buried before the Sabbath (15:42), the Sabbath is a day of rest (Lk 23:56), items are not to be carried (Jn 5:9–10), circumcision is also permitted (7:22–23), travel is limited (Acts 1:12), and Scripture is read (13:15, 27).

Jesus had repeated conflicts with the Jews over observing the Sabbath. Most of these are over what is and is not permitted. Picking ears of corn (Mt 12:1–8; Mk 2:23–28; Lk 6:1–5) is breaking the law according to the Pharisees, and while Jesus does not challenge the law, he does put forth the concept that human need overrides ritual law. Several conflicts center around Jesus’ healing on the Sabbath: the healing of a man with a withered hand (Mt 12:9–14; Mk 3:1–6; Lk 6:6–11), the disabled woman (Lk 13:10–17), a man crippled for thirty-eight years (Jn 5:1–9, 16–17; 7:22), and the man born blind (Jn 9). Jesus insisted that it was always lawful to do good on the Sabbath (Mt 12:12).

According to Jesus the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath (Mk 2:27–28). That is, in the creation story, God did not create a Sabbath and then create a human being to keep it; rather, he first created a human being, then knowing human beings would need rest, created the Sabbath for their benefit. The Lord wants us to enjoy the day of rest, not be burdened by it. See NIDNTT-A, 512–13.


Old Testament

Noun: תּוֹרָה (tîrâ), GK 9368 (S 8451), 223x. Generally rendered “law, regulation, instruction, teaching,” tîrâ was originally used to describe the instructions for daily conduct that God gave his people; eventually other meanings developed for this word. See also teaching.

(1) In Exod. through Deut., tîrâ covers a wide spectrum of regulations: from specific regulations about sacrifices (Lev 6:9), food laws (11:46), skin conditions (14:32), etc., to a summary word for the entire revelation that Moses received on Mount Sinai (“the Book of the Law,” Deut 28:61; cf. Jos 8:31). These laws regulate every aspect of Israelite life, from food to offerings to social interactions to warfare. It is impossible to divide these neatly into categories such as ceremonial, civil, and moral, since the OT does not make such distinctions and various types of laws are all intertwined. All of Israelite life is religiously oriented; the Lord is God of every aspect of life and has something to say about every human activity.

(2) Several psalms extol the beauty of God’s law (e.g., Ps 1; 19; 119). God’s law is something to love, since it comes from a loving God. True Israelites found the law liberating, not confining. Any negative statements relative to the law in the OT concern abuses of it, not the law itself. On tôrâ as a gracious gift from God, see Deut 4:1–8.

(3) In Ps 78:1, the word tîrâ covers not only the commands, regulations, and instructions of the Lord but also the historical review of Israel’s past—that is, the narrative portions of the Pentateuch. Ezra’s reading of the tîrâ most likely involved the entire Pentateuch (Neh 8:3). From understanding God’s past actions with and for his people, we learn his will for our own lives today. See NIDOTTE 4:893–98.


New Testament

Noun: χρεία (chreia), GK 5970 (S 5532), 49x. chreia refers to a necessity one has for something: e.g., John’s need for baptism (Mt 3:14), the need of the sick for a doctor (Mk 2:17), or the need of David and his companions for food (Mk 2:25; cf. Acts 20:34). Being “in need” often refers in the NT to lack of basic, physical necessities (Rom 12:13; Phil 4:16). In Acts, the early church shared together as anyone “had need” (Acts 2:45; 4:35). For Paul, mutual dependence and sharing of basic needs are a crucial part of being the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:21). Paul assures God’s people that God will meet all of their needs (Phil 4:19). But sometimes meeting those needs depends on the “haves” within the church, for “if anyone has material possession and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?” (1 Jn. 3:17). See NIDNTT-A, 608.

New Testament


Noun: οἶκος (oikos), GK 3875 (S 3624), 114x.

Noun: οἰκία (oikia), GK 3864 (S 3614), 93x. In the legal terminology of prebiblical Greek, oikos was distinct from oikia, the former referring to property left by a person after death and the latter referring only to a dwelling or house. By the time of the NT the terms are practically synonymous and most commonly denote a place where a person lives either literally (Mt 2:11; 7:24–27; 9:7; Mk 7:30) or figuratively in the sense of a family grouping (Mt 13:57; Mk 6:4; Jn 4:53; 1 Cor. 1:16; 2 Tim. 1:16; 4:19). It is used in other ways as well.

(1) oikos can refer to the temple in Jerusalem (oikos theou “house of God”; Mk 2:26; 11:17; Jn 2:16–17; cf. Acts 7:47).

(2) oikos can refer to ancestral family lineage, such as “the house of Israel,” “the house of Jacob,” or “the house of Judah” (Lk 1:33; Acts 7:42; Heb 8:8, 10). This is a common usage in the OT.

(3) oikos is also used of the Christian community as the “house of God” (Heb 3:2–6; 10:21; 1 Pet. 4:17; see bayit). It can refer to the “family” of God (Eph 4:17) and is explicitly linked with the church (1 Tim. 3:15). This is partially because the earliest and most basic unit of Christian groups met in private homes (Acts 11:14; 16:15, 31, 34; 18:8; 1 Cor. 1:16; 2 Tim. 1:16; 4:19).

(4) A Christian’s body is seen as a temple (oikos) of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19; cf. 3:16). See NIDNTT-A, 404–5.


NET Bible translators notes first edition…
Notes for  2:23
48 tn Grk “He”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

49 tn Or “heads of grain.” While the generic term στάχυς (stachus) can refer to the cluster of seeds at the top of grain such as barley or wheat, in the NT the term is restricted to wheat (L&N 3.40; BDAG 941 s.v. 1).


Notes for  2:24

50 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the implied result of previous action(s) in the narrative.

51 sn See the note on Pharisees in 2:16.


Notes for  2:26

52 tn A decision about the proper translation of this Greek phrase (ἐπὶ ᾿Αβιαθὰρ ἀρχιερέως, ejpi Abiathar ajrchiereōs) is very difficult for a number of reasons. The most natural translation of the phrase is “when Abiathar was high priest,” but this is problematic because Abiathar was not the high priest when David entered the temple and ate the sacred bread; Ahimelech is the priest mentioned in 1 Sam 21:1–7. Three main solutions have been suggested to resolve this difficulty. (1) There are alternate readings in various manuscripts, but these are not likely to be original: D W {271} it sys and a few others omit ἐπὶ ᾿Αβιαθὰρ ἀρχιερέως, no doubt in conformity to the parallels in Matt 12:4 and Luke 6:4; {A C Θ Π Σ Φ 074 f13 and many others} add τοῦ before ἀρχιερέως, giving the meaning “in the days of Abiathar the high priest,” suggesting a more general time frame. Neither reading has significant external support and both most likely are motivated by the difficulty of the original reading. (2) Many scholars have hypothesized that one of the three individuals who would have been involved in the transmission of the statement (Jesus who uttered it originally, Mark who wrote it down in the Gospel, or Peter who served as Mark’s source) was either wrong about Abiathar or intentionally loose with the biblical data in order to make a point. (3) It is possible that what is currently understood to be the most natural reading of the text is in fact not correct. (a) There are very few biblical parallels to this grammatical construction (ἐπί + genitive proper noun, followed by an anarthrous common noun), so it is possible that an extensive search for this construction in nonbiblical literature would prove that the meaning does involve a wide time frame. If this is so, “in the days of Abiathar the high priest” would be a viable option. (b) It is also possible that this phrasing serves as a loose way to cite a scripture passage. There is a parallel to this construction in Mark 12:26: “Have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush?” Here the final phrase is simply ἐπὶ τοῦ βάτου (ejpi tou batou), but the obvious function of the phrase is to point to a specific passage within the larger section of scripture. Deciding upon a translation here is difficult. The translation above has followed the current consensus on the most natural and probable meaning of the phrase ἐπὶ ᾿Αβιαθὰρ ἀρχιερέως: “when Abiathar was high priest.” It should be recognized, however, that this translation is tentative because the current state of knowledge about the meaning of this grammatical construction is incomplete, and any decision about the meaning of this text is open to future revision.

53 tn Grk “the bread of presentation.”

sn The sacred bread refers to the “bread of presentation,” “showbread,” or “bread of the Presence,” twelve loaves prepared weekly for the tabernacle and later, the temple. See Exod 25:30; 35:13; 39:36; Lev 24:5–9. Each loaf was made from 3 quarts (3.5 liters; Heb “two tenths of an ephah”) of fine flour. The loaves were placed on a table in the holy place of the tabernacle, on the north side opposite the lampstand (Exod 26:35). It was the duty of the priest each Sabbath to place fresh bread on the table; the loaves from the previous week were then given to Aaron and his descendants, who ate them in the holy place, because they were considered sacred (Lev 24:9). See also Matt 12:1–8, Luke 6:1–5.

54 sn Jesus’ response to the charge that what his disciples were doing was against the law is one of analogy: “If David did it for his troops in a time of need, then so can I with my disciples.” Jesus is clear that on the surface there was a violation here. What is not as clear is whether he is arguing a “greater need” makes this permissible or that this was within the intention of the law all along.

55 sn See 1 Sam 21:1–6.


Notes for  2:27

56 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.

57 tn The Greek term ἄνθρωπος (anthrōpos) is used twice in this verse in a generic sense, referring to both men and women, thus “people.”


Notes for  2:28

58 tn The term “lord” is in emphatic position in the Greek text.

sn A second point in Jesus’ defense of his disciples’ actions was that his authority as Son of Man also allowed it, since as Son of Man he was lord of the Sabbath.


Bullinger’s Figures of Speech used in the bible…

Asyndeton; or, No-Ands

This figure should not be studied apart from the opposite figure Polysyndeton (q.v.), as they form a pair, and mutually throw light upon and illustrate each other.

It is pronounced a-syn´-de-ton, and means simply without conjunctions; or it may be Englished by the term No-ands.

It is from the Greek α, negative, and σύνδετον (sundeton), bound together with (from δεῖν, dein, to bind).

Hence, in grammar, asyndeton means without any conjunctions.

It is called also Asyntheton, from τίθημι (titheemi), to put or place. Hence, Asyntheton means no placings or puttings (i.e., of the conjunction “and”).

Other names for this figure are:—

Dialysis (Di-al´-y-sis), from διά (dia), through, and λύειν (luein), to loosen; a loosening through.

Dialyton (Di-al´-y-ton), a separation of the parts.

Solutum (So-lu-tum), from the Latin solvo, to dissolve.

Dissolutio (Dis-so-lu´-ti-o), a dissolving.

Epitrochasmos (Ep´-i-tro-chas´-mos), from ἐπί (epi), upon, and τροχαῖος (trochaios), a running along, tripping along. This name is given also to a certain kind of Parenthesis (q.v.).

Percursio (Per-cur´-si-o), a running through.

All these names are given, because, without any “ands” the items are soon run over.

When the figure Asyndeton is used, we are not detained over the separate statements, and asked to consider each in detail, but we are hurried on over the various matters that are mentioned, as though they were of no account, in comparison with the great climax to which they lead up, and which alone we are thus asked by this figure to emphasize.

The beauties of Asyndeton cannot be fully seen or appreciated without comparing with it the figure of Polysyndeton. They should be studied together, in order to bring out, by the wonderful contrast, the object and importance of both.

Asyndeta have been divided into four classes:—

Conjunctive or copulative, when the words or propositions are to be joined together.

Disjunctive, when they are to be separated from each other.

Explanatory, when they explain each other.

Causal, when a reason is subjoined.

For the sake of more easy reference, the following examples have not been thus classified, but are given in the order in which they occur in the Bible:

Mark 2:27, 28.
—In the Textus Receptus the “and” is omitted, but it is inserted both in the A.V. and R.V. with T. Tr. A., WH. It reads, in spite of this, as though the “and” were an addition to the text. Without it there is an Asyndeton, and a forcible conclusion flowing from it.

“The Sabbath was made for man,
—not man for the Sabbath;
therefore the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath also.


Antimetabole; or, Counterchange

Epanodos, with Contrast or Opposition

An´-ti-me-tab´-o-lee, from ἀντί (anti), against, μετά (meta), reversely, and βάλλειν (ballein), to throw.

This figure repeats the word or words in a reverse order, for the purpose of opposing one thing to another, or of contrasting two or more things. It is the figure of Epanodos with this special added object of opposing words against one another.

It is also called Diallelon, from διά (dia), through, and λαλέω (laleo), to speak, to say (or place by speaking) one thing against another. Also Metathesis, Me-tath´-e-sis, i.e., transposition, from μετά (meta), beyond, or over, and τίθημι (titheemi), to place. This name is also given in Etymology, where letters are transposed. The Latins called it Commutatio, commutation, i.e., changing about.

Mark 2:27.

a      “The sabbath

b      was made for man,

b      and not man for

a      the sabbath.”


  • Persons: Who is mentioned here?
  • Jesus
  • Disciples
    Abiathar the high priest • Mk 2:26, 1 Sa 22:20–22, 23:6, 9, 30:7, 2 Sa 8:17, 15:24, 27, 29, 35–36, 17:15, 19:11, 20:25, 1 Ki 1:7, 19, 25, 42, 2:22, 26–27, 35, 4:4, 1 Ch 15:11, 18:16, 24:6, 27:34
  • Pharisees
  • David
  • Action: Who is doing what?  What is happening?


  • Purpose: What was the writer / speaker trying to achieve
  • Reasons: Are any reasons suggested?


  • Arena: Is there any indication where something happens


  • Events: …or when something happened?


  • Method: …or how something happens?

Check for CONSISTENCY with the rest of scripture.

  • Refer to commentaries, Study Bibles, Bible Dictionaries, etc

    • 2:23–24 Deuteronomy 23:25 implies that, in the case of hunger, it was permissible to eat heads of grain from any field one might pass by. Work, however, was not permitted on the Sabbath (Ex. 34:21). Pharisaic interpretation sought to guard against work on the Sabbath by prohibiting even the minimal “work” involved in thus satisfying one’s hunger.
      2:25–26 Jesus initially emphasizes that the restrictive Pharisaic interpretation of the law does not take into account the situation of need in which David and his men found themselves (1 Sam. 21:1–6). David ate the bread of the Presence, so it follows that, at least in the case of need, actions are allowed on a Sabbath that otherwise might not be permitted. in the time of Abiathar the high priest. The incident with David actually occurred when Ahimelech, not his son Abiathar, was high priest (1 Sam. 21:1). “In the time of Abiathar” could mean: (1) “In the time of Abiathar, who later became high priest” (naming Abiathar because he was a more prominent person in the OT narrative, remaining high priest for many years of David’s reign); (2) “In [the Scripture section of] Abiathar, the high priest” (taking Gk. epi plus the genitive to indicate a location in Scripture, as in Mark 12:26). Abiathar, the only son of Ahimelech to survive the slaughter by Doeg (1 Samuel 22), is the best-known high priest in this larger section of 1 Samuel.2:27–28 The Sabbath was made for man. Jesus next (see note on vv. 25–26) emphasizes that man is not to be confined by the Sabbath but rather that the Sabbath is given as a gift to man (for spiritual and physical refreshment). Again Jesus emphasizes his authority as Son of Man (see Introduction: Key Themes; and note on Matt. 8:20). If the Sabbath is for the benefit of mankind, and if the Son of Man is Lord over all mankind, then the Son of Man is surely lord even of the Sabbath.

      Five Controversies from Mark 2:1–3:6
      Reference     Point of Conflict
      2:1–12            forgiveness
      2:15–17         eating with sinners
      2:18–22         fasting
      2:23–28        Sabbath
      3:1–6              Sabbath, and the decision to kill Jesus

    • IVP Bible Back Ground Commentary
    • 2:23–27 The Right Use of the Sabbath
      Jesus’ conflicts with the religious establishment in the preceding passages come to a head over details of sabbath observance (2:23–3:6). Their religious priorities differ; whereas the religious establishment may think that Jesus questions the Bible’s authority, he demands instead a different way to understand it and so apply it.
      2:23–24. Because not many Pharisees lived in Galilee and they would normally not be in a grainfield on the sabbath—unless they were following Jesus around—it is possible that local religious teachers are responding to reports about what Jesus’ disciples had done, and that Mark applies the more specific term Pharisees to them. (Like other ancient writers, Mark was free to update older wording and to omit details irrelevant to the point of his narrative.) It is also possible that Pharisees had been investigating or traveling with Jesus.
      Pharisees would not have been more than a sabbath day’s journey from a village where they were staying; thus the disciples, who encounter Pharisees, are surely within walking distance of food in a village, if it had been properly prepared the preceding day. Teachers were held responsible for the behavior of their disciples, and many rabbis considered it proper to defend the honor of their disciples.
      2:25. Whether or not his opponents agree with Jesus’ argument, he has cited biblical precedent for hunger overriding a standard biblical rule; therefore they could not punish him in a local priestly court. Because Jesus is defending his disciples, he mentions “those who were with” David; although it is not clear that anyone was with David (1 Sam 21:1), David claimed that there were others (21:2). Either Jesus accepts David’s claim as true, or his point from the standpoint of legal precedent is that the priest accepted David’s word and let hunger take precedence over ritual law.
      2:26. Abiathar was not yet high priest when David was given the bread, but Mark employs the term in the standard manner of his day: “high priest” was applied to any member of the high priestly family with administrative power, which would have included Abiathar when David came to Ahimelech, Abiathar’s father.
      2:27. Although Jesus claims the right to interpret sabbath rules as the authoritative Son of Man (Dan 7:13–14), his opponents no doubt understand him to mean that because the sabbath was made for people (other Jewish teachers also mentioned this point), human beings had authority to do what they needed on the sabbath. (“Son of man” was a standard Aramaic term for “human being,” and his hearers probably assumed he meant this rather than that he claimed to be the Son of Man of Daniel 7:13–14.)
  • What is the MELODIC line of the passage?
  • What is the core message that sums up this teaching?
  • Express it in contemporary wording….



Melodic Line of the text? In one sentence. 

Compile some applications to daily personal life & society.
How would you encourage listeners to respond to this message from God?

How does it interact with the questions below?

Where is this passage located in redemption history and how does it relate to us 
What does this point mean for the non Christian?     
What does it mean for us as citizens, as employees, and so forth?     
What does it teach us about Christ?     
What does it mean for us as individual Christians?     
What does it mean for our church as a whole?     

APPLY the melodic line (The lesson for us)

Hidden Worldviews that Gospel application needs to counter. How does the text counter one or more of these false worldviews. Can I shed light on any of these hidden worldviews with this passage?
• Individualism — the story that “I” am the center of the universe
• Consumerism — the story that I am what I own
• Nationalism — the story that my nation is God’s nation
• Moral relativism — the story that we can’t know what is universally good
• Scientific naturalism — the story that all that matters is matter
• New Age — the story that we are gods
• Postmodern tribalism — the story that all that matters is what my small group thinks
• Salvation by therapy — the story that I can come to my full human potential through inner exploration


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