Jesus is Lord scaled

Jesus is Lord of All

Scripture Readings: 2 Corinthians 4:7-12, Mark 2:23-3:6

In Mark 2:23-28, Jesus and His disciples are walking through the grainfields on the Sabbath. The Pharisees criticize the disciples for picking grain, which they consider unlawful on the Sabbath. As Jesus noted, the number of rules became a heavy burden. The Pharisees made the Sabbath into a rule-keeping day, burdening people rather than allowing them to rest from their labours.

Jesus responds by reminding them of David, who ate the consecrated bread, and asserts, “The Sabbath was made for people, not people for the Sabbath.” This highlights that the Sabbath is intended for human benefit, emphasizing rest and worship over legalistic restrictions. The Sabbath is a day set aside for rest and worship.

Jesus’ declaration that He is “Lord even of the Sabbath” signifies a new understanding of freedom in Christ. True freedom is a gift that comes from Jesus. It means liberation from the burdensome legalism imposed by the Pharisees, allowing believers to experience the Sabbath as a gift for rest and rejuvenation in God’s presence.

Jesus’ actions on the Sabbath challenge the restrictive interpretations of the Law. By prioritizing human need and compassion over strict Sabbath observance, Jesus shows that believers are freed from the legalistic constraints of the Law, enabling them to serve the Lord more fully and authentically. Every believer is freed from the law to serve the Lord.

In Mark 3:1-6, Jesus heals a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath, again confronting the Pharisees’ rigid interpretation of the Law. Just as Jesus healed the man, so if our hearts and minds are dry and withered, the Lord will moisten us, unfold our folds, and heal us.

When questioned, Jesus asks, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” (v. 4). His healing act demonstrates that doing good and saving life are vital even on the Sabbath.

When Jesus is challenged, he uses a healing sign to demonstrate divine authority. When his claims are challenged, He responds with actions rather than arguments.

Today’s text justifies everything Jesus has done since healing the sick, including His associating with tax collectors and sinners, encountering unclean things, rejecting official fasting restrictions, and breaking the Sabbath prohibition by working and healing.

It also shows Pharisees’ insensitivity to the man with the withered hand. Their religious perspective clouds their awareness of God, and their arrogance blinds them to the miracles and restorations the Lord has performed. Their mistaken loyalty to a fallen power leads them to dehumanize themselves and others.

In verse 5, Jesus “looked around at them with anger; He was grieved at their hardness of heart”. Their spiritual channels were paralysed, there was no love in their hearts, they valued the form more than the person, and they didn’t recognise who Jesus was. However, Jesus Christ serves as both a role model for loving God and neighbour and the enabler for doing so.

Jesus is our Lord. Jesus’ authority over the Sabbath underscores His lordship over all aspects of life. Recognizing Jesus as Lord means acknowledging His authority to interpret and fulfill the Law, guiding believers in true worship and service.

Reflecting on Jesus’ actions and teachings encourages believers to seek His guidance in their lives. Asking Jesus where His lordship will take us implies a willingness to follow His lead, trust in His wisdom, and embrace the transformative journey of faith He sets before us. May we ask our Lord for the way we should go, the words and deeds we should say and do, so that we may be guided by Him in our lives.

Today’s text affirms that Jesus, as Lord of all, redefines the understanding of the Sabbath, liberates believers from legalism, and calls them to a life of compassionate service and genuine worship.

Our lives should focus on Jesus Christ as Lord. This reinforces the primary role of Jesus in our faith and ministry. We are servants for Jesus, which reflects our dedication to spreading His message. Jesus’ light transforms us from within, turning our darkness into a beacon of God’s presence. As God gave us light at His creation, He invites us to let Jesus’ light shine out of darkness and embrace spiritual light into our hearts. Knowing and encountering Jesus allows us to perceive and experience God’s glory in our lives. May we convey Jesus’ light shining through darkness and testify God’s power working through our human weakness.

In 2 Corinthians 4, through the metaphor of “jars of clay”, we recognise our human frailty and divine treasure within us, which is the power of God. It demonstrates that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us, showcasing His strength in our weakness. May we embrace our identity as vessels of God’s glory and power and let the light of Christ shine through our lives, despite our human frailties.

As seen in verse 10, carrying “the death of Jesus” in our body is a way to reveal His life through us. Our sufferings for Christ manifest His resurrection power in us. May we experience Christ’s glory revealed through His suffering and resurrection and share hope and encouragement with others.

As in Romans 1, Jesus’ lordship is that of a servant. His lordship took Him to the streets, to touch lepers and call tax-collectors His friends. Our enslavement to the Lord Jesus will take us to serve the poorest of the poor, the sick, the outcasts, even if they happen to be the people who live next door. Jesus is our Lord.

In the spirit of the Sabbath, which leads to true worship and gives us true rest, I will soon be going on annual leave and will be travelling to South Korea. Although we may be as weak as jars of clay, I believe and pray that the Lord will take care of you and me, and we will live and travel always with the Lord.

I trust and pray that I will return well rested, recharged, restored, and refreshed, so that I may better serve our Lord and our Leighmoor family. I also pray that all of you will always be healthy, peaceful, and happy in the love of God. Our Lord is the Lord of all, and He will always be with us.

Thanks be to God. Amen.
(Ref. Bible, commentaries, theological books, UCA materials)