Saturday, November 8, 2008

Matthew 12:8 - Lord of the Sabbath

The following scriptures are presented as proof that Jesus is his God, since Jesus said that he is "lord of the sabbath." It is claimed that this means that Jesus is "lord" over God's law, and that since he is lord of God's law, this means that jesus is God (Jehovah, Yahweh).

From the World English translation:

Matthew 12:8 - For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.

Mark 2:28 - Therefore the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.

Luke 6:5 - He said to them, "The Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath."

The idea that what Jesus said here means that Jesus is his God has to be added to, read into the scriptures by way of assumptions, and then reading those assumptions into what Jesus said. The assumptions are made that since Jesus said that he is lord of the sabbath, that this means that he is lord over God's law, and this further means that Jesus is his God. And the assumptions are made for the purpose of serving the assumption that Jesus is Yahweh.

Jesus said that all things that he has had been given to him by his Father. (Matthew 28:18; Luke 10:22) Jesus further identified his God and Father as the only true God. (John 17:1,3) Thus whatever lordship that Jesus has was given to Jesus by the only true God. Peter said: "God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified." (Acts 2:36) This agrees with Isaiah 61:1, where the promised one is depicted as stating: "Yahweh has anointed me." The word "Christ" means "anointed one." The only true God, Yahweh, has made Jesus "lord" -- ruler, master -- of all things, excluding God Himself, and this includes the antitype of the "shadow" sabbaths. (Galatians 4:1; Colossians 2:16,17; 1 Corinthians 15:27; Ephesians 1:3,17,20-22) Being the the promised son of the man (Matthew 19:28; 25:31; 26:64; Mark 2:10; 14:62; Luke 18:31; 21:27; 22:69), that is, the promised Son, (seed, offspring) of David (Psalm 89:36; 132:11; Isaiah 9:6,7; Isaiah 11:1; Jeremiah 23:5; 33:15; Matthew 1:1; John 7:42; Acts 2:30; Romans 1:3), Jesus is made lord and given dominion over all -- excluding God, who gives this dominion to Jesus. (Psalm 2:6-8; 45:7; 110:1,2; Isaiah 9:6,7; 11:2; 42:1; 61:1-3; Jeremiah 23:5; Daniel 7:13,14; Matthew 12:28; 28:28; Luke 1:32; 4:14,18; 5:17; John 3:34; 5:19,27,30; 10:18,36-38; Acts 2:22; 10:38; Romans 1:1-4; 1 Corinthians 15:27; 2 Corinthians 13:4; Colossians 1:15,16; 2:10; Ephesians 1:17-22; Philippians 2:9-11; Hebrews 1:2,4,6,9; 1 Peter 3:22) This does not mean that Jesus is the only true God who has made Jesus "lord."

It is also true that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had used Jesus in the making of the ages (Hebrews 1:1,2), which brings up the possibility that Jesus was used by the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in giving the Law to Moses, and that, in this sense he could be referred to as "Lord of the sabbath." If this assumption is correct, however, such an application still does not mean that Jesus is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Nevertheless, "Lord" in the Greek is anarthrous; it does not have the definite article. It is not saying that Jesus is "the" Lord of the sabbath, but rather, Jesus is simply called "Lord" or "Master" of the sabbath. Jesus was "master" of the sabbath, not because he was God, but because he, as the son of the man, that is, as the promised son of the man, David (see scriptures above), being born under the Law (Galatians 4:4), obeyed the Law without failure. Had he disobeyed that law in one small part, he could not have actually fulfilled the Law, and thus he would have nothing to sacrifice, since he would be just as guilty and in need of redemption from condemnation as any other man. (Matthew 5:17; James 2:10) Jesus was therefore, as the promised son of the man, David, master of the sabbath, obeying God's laws concerning the sabbath perfectly. Jesus' obedience, and his sacrifice of right to human life gained by that obedience, fulfilled the Law, and thus the Law was figuratively nailed to the stauros with Jesus. -- Colossians 2:14.

The offering in sacrifice of Jesus' blood and body brought forth the inauguration of another covenant, called the "New Covenant." (Matthew 26:28; Mark 14:24; 22:20; 1 Corinthians 11:25; Hebrews 10:14,29; 12:24; 13:20) Through faith in his blood, the Jew can become counted as dead to the Law (Romans 7:4), counted as having died with Jesus (Romans 6:8,11), so as to belong to Jesus, being imputed justification and sanctified through the blood of the new covenant. -- Romans 3,4.

Additionally, Jesus knew from his God and Father (John 8:28) what was really in observance of the law, and what it was "lawful" to do on the sabbath, as opposed to the strict applications that Jews were making concerning the sabbath. Jesus said "it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath day." (Matthew 12:12) Some parts of the law apply over other parts of the Law, as Jesus illustrated by David's eating of the shewbread, which was, strictly speaking, unlawful. But "mercy" in the Law is of greater importance in some instances, so that what would otherwise be "unlawful" would be "lawful" -- permitted by the law.

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