(27) And He said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. (28) Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath."
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These verses contain a number of things critical to Sabbath keeping:
- Jesus refers to the Sabbath as a specific day; it is theSabbath, not a Sabbath.
- The Sabbath was not made for its own sake as were the other six days, but as a service to mankind. An alternate translation would be that it "was made on account of man." Jesus presents it as the Creator's specific and thoughtful gift to man.
- It was not made just for the Jews, but for mankind. When God created the Sabbath, He intended it from the beginning as a UNIVERSAL blessing to benefit mankind. He made it to help ensure man's physical and spiritual well-being.
- The broader context reveals a disagreement over how to keep it. Jesus claims to be its Lord, its Owner or Master, and He thus lays claim to His right to show by His example and verbal instruction how to keep it, not whether to keep it. Since He expresses no disagreement with keeping it, He implies that He expects man—not just Jews—to keep it. He has a perfect opportunity here to reply that it does not matter if men keep it, but He gives no such indication.
— John W. Ritenbaugh