Sick of Religion? Week 5: Devotional Day 3

Sick of Religion? Week 5: Devotional Day 3

DAY 3 – Wednesday

Daily devotional


Mark 2:27-3:6


What do Jesus’ interactions in this story say about his authority as the Son of Man?


When I was a kid, birthdays were special days. It was a day to celebrate an event that happened years ago and the enduring impacts of it. It was also a day on which I had authority to pick the day’s activities. Sabbath is a little bit like a birthday. It is a day when we celebrate how God has demonstrated his power in the past and acknowledge his continuing authority.

When Sabbath was instituted back in Exodus 20:8-11, it is clearly stated that is a reflection and remembrance of God’s work in creation. When the command to keep Sabbath is repeated in Deuteronomy 5:12-15, it is described as a remembrance of the Lord’s saving work in bringing the Israelites out from slavery in Egypt. Within both of these passages, it is clear that Sabbath belongs to the Lord (i.e., God has authority over the Sabbath). 

 In the New Testament, Jesus continues to exercise the saving and redeeming power of God, even on the Sabbath as we see in today’s passage with Jesus restoring the withered hand. Sabbath is intended as a celebration of the power of God in which he is free to continue demonstrating that power.

The title Son of Man is an indicator that Jesus has the power of God because he is God.  Look back to the story at the beginning of Mark 2. Jesus is presented with a paralytic and the religious leaders scoffed, saying “Who can forgive sins but God alone?” (v. 6). Jesus, knowing the religious leaders were questioning his authority, then heals the paralytic so that they “may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” (v. 10). Here at the end of the chapter (vv. 27-28), the title Son of Man reappears. By asserting his authority over the Sabbath “Jesus puts himself squarely in the place of God.” [1]

[1]James R. Edwards, The Gospel According to Mark, Pillar New Testament Commentary. Accordance electronic ed. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002), 97.