Monday, October 5, 2015

The Gospel of Mark: a Serving Savior / 2015-2016 - Lesson 03 - “Jesus Challenged on the Law” - Mark 2:13-3:6

Lesson 03   “Jesus Challenged on the Law”   Mark 2:13-3:6
ID: Inductive Questions (Asking the text questions like who, what, where, when, why, & how?”)
CR: Cross References (Comparing Scripture to Scripture, understanding the vague by the clear.)
WS: Word Study (Understanding definition, theological meaning, and usages in other passages.)
The WORD: What does the Bible say?
Context:  Read Mark 2:7-3:12 to help understand the context of this passage.  Read Mark 2:13-3:6 ina more literal or more dynamic translation than you usually use.  Read Deuteronomy 5:12-15 and 1 Samuel 21:6?
This passage introduces the ongoing conflicts with the religious leaders about the Jewish Sabbath.  Take so time in this lesson to focus on understanding the Sabbath, it’s regulations, and meanings, etc.
1.     ID: (2:13-17)  Before going to a Bible dictionary, make as many observations about Levi as you can from these verses (Note the parallel accounts in Matt. 9:9-13 and Luke 5:27-32).
2.     ID: (2:16-17)  What kind of people did Jesus come to call?  How did that affect who he associated with?
3.     ID: (2:18-21)  Who questioned Jesus about His disciples not fasting? What reason and parables did Jesus answer them with?  How are they connected?
4.     WS/CR: (2:23, 27-28)  What was the Sabbath? (שַׁבָּת-shabbath /σάββατον-sabbaton) (Exodus 16:23-29; 20:8-11; Deuteronomy 5:12-15)  What rules had been given about keeping (or observing) the Sabbath?  How important was it to keep the Sabbath?  (Leviticus 23:23-32; Nehemiah 13:15-21; Jeremiah 17:21-27; Colossians 2:16; Hebrews 4:1-10)
5.     CR: (2:25-26)  The example Jesus gave about David eating showbread (1 Samuel 21:6) did not involve specific Sabbath rules.  How did it apply to the situation in Mark?  (Extra: Do you think the disciples were ignoring the Sabbath, not breaking the Sabbath, or breaking Sabbath rules and making an exception?)
6.     ID: (2:8)  What caused Jesus to be angry (orgē) and grieved (syllypeō)?  Why didn’t Jesus play it safe and wait till the next day to heal the man with the withered hand?
The WALK: What should I do?
1.     How do we harmonize Jesus’ eating with sinners in this passage with 2 Corinthians 6:14-18?
2.     Have you ever fasted?  How might fasting help you?  What are some precautions that should be kept in mind when we fast?
3.     Have you ever observed or known people who observed rules about a day of rest?  What were some pro’s and con’s you observed?
4.     How do you respond when your “religious expectations” are disrupted or ignored?
5.     Where in this passage do we see Gospel truths about God, Man, Christ, and our response?  Have your sins been forgiven?
Going Beyond: 1. Read an extra article. “Shabbat”; – “What is Shabbat?”; Grace to You ( – “Are the Sabbath laws binding on Christians today?”; – “They Changed the Sabbath to Sunday
2. Update your “Miracles in Mark” and “Titles Given to Jesus” charts.

II. History of the Sabbath after Moses.
(Part of an article on the “Sabbath” in the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia ©1915)
1. In the Old Testament:
The early prophets and historians occasionally make mention of the Sabbath. It is sometimes named in connection with the festival of the new moon (2Ki 4:23; Am 8:5; Ho 2:11; Isa 1:13; Eze 46:3). The prophets found fault with the worship on the Sabbath, because it was not spiritual nor prompted by love and gratitude. The Sabbath is exalted by the great prophets who faced the crisis of the Babylonian exile as one of the most valuable institutions in Israel's life. Great promises are attached to faithful observance of the holy day, and confession is made of Israel's unfaithfulness in profaning the Sabbath (Jer 17:21-27; Isa 56:2,4; 58:13; Eze 20:12-24). In the Persian period Nehemiah struggled earnestly to make the people of Jerusalem observe the law of the Sabbath (Ne 10:31; 13:15-22).
2. In the Inter-Testamental Period:
With the development of the synagogue the Sabbath became a day of worship and of study of the Law, as well as a day of cessation from all secular employment. That the pious in Israel carefully observed the Sabbath is clear from the conduct of the Maccabees and their followers, who at first declined to resist the onslaught made by their enemies on the Sabbath (1 Macc 2:29-38); but necessity drove the faithful to defend themselves against hostile attack on the Sabbath (1 Macc 2:39-41). It was during the period between Ezra and the Christian era that the spirit of Jewish legalism flourished. Innumerable restrictions and rules were formulated for the conduct of life under the Law. Great principles were lost to sight in the mass of petty details. Two entire treatises of the Mishna, Shabbath and `Erubhin, are devoted to the details of Sabbath observance. The subject is touched upon in other parts of the Mishna; and in the Gemara there are extended discussions, with citations of the often divergent opinions of the rabbis. In the Mishna (Shahbath, vii.2) there are 39 classes of prohibited actions with regard to the Sabbath, and there is much hair-splitting in working out the details. The beginnings of this elaborate definition of actions permitted and actions forbidden are to be found in the centuries immediately preceding the Christian era. The movement was at flood tide during our Lord's earthly ministry and continued for centuries afterward, in spite of His frequent and vigorous protests.
3. Jesus and the Sabbath:
Apart from His claim to be the Messiah, there is no subject on which our Lord came into such sharp conflict with the religious leaders of the Jews as in the matter of Sabbath observance. He set Himself squarely against the current rabbinic restrictions as contrary to the spirit of the original law of the Sabbath. The rabbis seemed to think that the Sabbath was an end in itself, an institution to which the pious Israelite must subject all his personal interests; in other words, that man was made for the Sabbath: man might suffer hardship, but the institution must be preserved inviolate. Jesus, on the contrary, taught that the Sabbath was made for man's benefit. If there should arise a conflict between man's needs and the letter of the Law, man's higher interests and needs must take precedence over the law of the Sabbath (Mt 12:1-14; Mr 2:23 through Mr 3:6; Lu 6:1-11; also Joh 5:1-18; Lu 13:10-17; 14:1-6). There is no reason to think that Jesus meant to discredit the Sabbath as an institution. It was His custom to attend worship in the synagogue on the Sabbath (Lu 4:16). The humane element in the rest day at the end of every week must have appealed to His sympathetic nature. It was the one precept of the Decalogue that was predominantly ceremonial, though it had distinct sociological and moral value. As an institution for the benefit of toiling men and animals, Jesus held the Sabbath in high regard. As the Messiah, He was not subject to its restrictions; He could at any moment assert His lordship over the Sabbath (Mr 2:28). The institution was not on a par with the great moral precepts, which are unchangeable. It is worthy of note that, while Jesus pushed the moral precepts of the Decalogue into the inner realm of thought and desire, thus making the requirement more difficult and the law more exacting, He fought for a more liberal and lenient interpretation of the law of the Sabbath. Rigorous sabbatarians must look elsewhere for a champion of their views.
4. Paul and the Sabbath:
The early Christians kept the 7th day as a Sabbath, much after the fashion of other Jews. Gradually the 1st day of the week came to be recognized as the day on which the followers of Jesus would meet for worship. The resurrection of our Lord on that day made it for Christians the most joyous day of all the week. When Gentiles were admitted into the church, the question at once arose whether they should be required to keep the Law of Moses. It is the glory of Paul that he fought for and won freedom for his Gentile fellow-Christians. It is significant of the attitude of the apostles that the decrees of the Council at Jerusalem made no mention of Sabbath observance in the requirements laid upon Gentile Christians (Ac 15:28 f). Paul boldly contended that believers in Jesus, whether Jew or Gentile, were set free from the burdens of the Mosaic Law. Even circumcision counted for nothing, now that men were saved by believing in Jesus (Ga 5:6). Christian liberty as proclaimed by Paul included all days and seasons. A man could observe special days or not, just as his own judgment and conscience might dictate (Ro 14:5 f); but in all such matters one ought to be careful not to put a stumbling block in a brother's way (Ro 14:13 ff). That Paul contended for personal freedom in respect of the Sabbath is made quite clear in Col 2:16 f, where he groups together dietary laws, feast days, new moons and sabbaths. The early Christians brought over into their mode of observing the Lord's Day the best elements of the Jewish Sabbath, without its onerous restrictions.)
Lesson 3 - Mark 2:13-3:6
Have you had any unbelievers visit or attend your group?  Encourage your men to invite friends who are seeking or open to spiritual things.
1. You might want to walk the men through some practical steps of making inductive observations about a passage with this question.  The PRECEPT AUSTIN site has some top notch information and encouragement about inductive Bible study.  The word “observations” links to my blog where I have a short portion of those materials about inductive questions.
3. It is interesting that it was some Pharisees and John the Baptist’s followers who joined in questioning about this.  This makes me wonder whether this might have been an honest question about why the disciples did not observe a practice that most serious followers of God were doing.  Thomas Constable’s Expository Notes and the NET Bible translation and study notes are helpful resources for these verses.
4.  Normally, I would emphasize not taking too much time on something like the Sabbath, but since it will be an issue again, it makes sense to have a good understanding about it.  I have links to multiple word studies, cross references, and articles in this lesson, so you should have ample resources.
5.  I have word study links for angry and grieved, but the real focus should be on whether we are hard hearted.  The WALK question 4 touches on this.
1.  The main purpose of this question is to give you an opportunity to explore the principles of being in contact with unbelievers without being influenced by them or yoking ourselves together with them.
2.  We don’t talk much about fasting.  If you have men who fast in your group, this will give them an opportunity to share about their experiences.  Please make sure to mention some of the medical cautions for fasting.  We don’t want someone with diabetes, etc. to go on a strict fast and end up in the hospital.
3. Resting is Biblical and this gives you an opportunity to talk about how to do that.
5. Please make it a point to make note of the gospel points.  It is important for the men to learn to observe how and when the Bible points toward the Gospel. I have organize your discussion around the four points we highlighted in the 2015 summer preaching series on the Gospel. 
·       I have part of an article about the “Sabbath” from the 1915 International Standard Bible Encyclopedia on page two.
·       There are links to four articles about the Sabbath.  The first two are from non-messianic Jewish sources.  The third contains notes from John MacArthur on why we don’t need to observe the Sabbath as believers.  The last has some historical information about the switch from observing the Sabbath to worshiping on the first day of the week.
·       You probably don’t have time to look at them, but remind the men to keep up with their Mark charts.  I think it will be a valuable and meaningful resource for them when they finish the study.


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