Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 1 Study # 3
August 26, 2007
Lincolnton, N.C.

<370> Thesis: The Lord of the Sabbath rules with respect for His creation. Introduction: When Luke set out to tell his reader(s) why Jesus was rejected by "official" Israel, he intended to reveal the real issues. We have already seen that one of those "real" issues was Jesus' claim to have the authority to exercise divine prerogatives. Now, "divine prerogatives" are rights that only God has. In the purest sense, "divine prerogatives" are not rights that God can permit non-gods to exercise. The Pharisees understood that. That is why they said, "Who is this that speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?" (Luke 5:21, ASV). This did not mean that the Pharisees would not have acknowledged that men are often called upon to "forgive" one another. It simply meant that there are certain "final" actions that only God can take. To declare that a man's sins are forgiven is not the same thing as one human being telling another human being, "I forgive you", because of some evil that the forgiven has done to the one forgiving. What Jesus intended for the man to understand, and what the Pharisees clearly understood, was that God had erased the man's sins from the one-on-one, God/man relationship. This was nothing, more or less, than Jesus taking ownership of the God/men relationship issue. It was for this reason that Jesus was rejected. The rejectors simply did not believe that He was "God" over this most crucial issue. In the paragraph before us this morning, we find Jesus taking ownership of the Sabbath. This was a second, and extremely crucial, declaration to the nation that they were dealing with their God. The Sabbath was the key issue of "loyalty to God". The Pharisees knew, and taught, that God had chosen the Sabbath to be the "sign of loyalty". Thus, anyone who claimed the right to declare what "observing the Sabbath" really meant was "messing with" the issue of the God/man relationship. There is no relationship where there is no loyalty. Relationships live and die on this basis. The Pharisees knew that Jesus was claiming ownership of the Sabbath. It was for this reason that Jesus was rejected. The rejectors simply did not believe that Jesus was "Lord" of the Sabbath. There is a reason that the rejectors did not believe that Jesus was the "God" over the God/men relationship, or that He was the "Lord" over the loyalty issue that governed that relationship. This morning we are going to look into that reason.