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Matthew 12:1-14 Lord of the Sabbath

The seventh-day Sabbath, established on the seventh day of creation, is the most established Commandment in all of Scripture. The seventh-day Sabbath was created by YeHoVaH; established, observed, and kept by Yeshua; and is a gift given to man as a day of rest, assembly, and worship. 

Yeshua will point the religious leaders to the Torah and the prophets.

The religious leaders of Yeshua’s day had created Sabbath Day laws of dos and don’ts that they imposed on the people and accused Yeshua and His disciples of violating. In this portion of Matthew, Yeshua is confronted by the Pharisees on two separate occasions of violating their laws which led to a plot to kill Him.

Did Yeshua violate the Sabbath, instituted by YeHoVaH, in either of those incidents? Join us in these tense and confrontational moments as Yeshua tries to reason with the Pharisees about the Sabbath Day from a Biblical and historical context in the teaching, Lord of the Sabbath.

Mt 12:1 At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungered, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat. 

 Mt 12:2 But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day. 

 The Torah permitted plucking grain on the Sabbath, but the sickle was not allowed for then it would be considered work.

 Dt 23:24 When thou comest into thy neighbour's vineyard, then thou mayest eat grapes thy fill at thine own pleasure; but thou shalt not put any in thy vessel.  

Dt 23:25 When thou comest into the standing corn of thy neighbour, then thou mayest pluck the ears with thine hand; but thou shalt not move a sickle unto thy neighbour's standing corn.

The disciples were not breaking Torah, the Law of YeHoVaH, they were in violation of the law of the Pharisees.

Mt 12:3 But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungered, and they that were with him; 

Mt 12:4 How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the showbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests? 

 1st Samuel 21:1-6 David and his men eating the consecrated bread:

Ahimelech the priest, son of Abiathar the high priest, gave David the consecrated bread that had been removed from the presence of YeHoVaH. Apparently, the priest permitted them to have the bread because according to his knowledge David and his men were holy and had not been with women.

1Sa 21:1 Then came David to Nob to Ahimelech the priest: and Ahimelech was afraid at the meeting of David, and said unto him, Why art thou alone, and no man with thee? 1Sa 21:2 And David said unto Ahimelech the priest, The king hath commanded me a business, and hath said unto me, Let no man know any thing of the business whereabout I send thee, and what I have commanded thee: and I have appointed my servants to such and such a place. 

1Sa 21:3 Now therefore what is under thine hand? give me five loaves of bread in mine hand, or what there is present. 

1Sa 21:4 And the priest answered David, and said, There is no common bread under mine hand, but there is hallowed bread; if the young men have kept themselves at least from women. 

1Sa 21:5 And David answered the priest, and said unto him, Of a truth women have been kept from us about these three days, since I came out, and the vessels of the young men are holy, and the bread is in a manner common, yea, though it were sanctified this day in the vessel. 1Sa 21:6 So the priest gave him hallowed bread: for there was no bread there but the showbread, that was taken from before the LORD, to put hot bread in the day when it was taken away.

Mark records:  

Mk 2:25 And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungered, he, and they that were with him? 

Mk 2:26 How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the showbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him? 

2Sa 8:17 And Zadok the son of Ahitub, and Ahimelech the son of Abiathar, were the priests; and Seraiah was the scribe;

Mk 2:27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: 

Mk 2:28 Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.  

The Sabbath was made for man. 

By Whom? 


When was the Sabbath made for man? 

On the seventh day of creation.

 Ge 2:2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. Ge 2:3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

Jn 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God. 

Jn 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Why was the Sabbath made for man? 

To cease from work and labor, to rest and to assemble for worship.

Ex 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 

Ex 20:9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 

Ex 20:10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: Ex 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

Lev 23:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 

Lev 23:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts. 

Lev 23:3 Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.

The Pharisees had exalted the Sabbath above man, making man subject to the Sabbath, when the Sabbath was made for man. 

 Mt 12:5 Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless? 

 The priests were required to work on the Sabbath.

Nu 28:9 And on the sabbath day two lambs of the first year without spot, and two tenth deals of flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, and the drink offering thereof: Nu 28:10 This is the burnt offering of every sabbath, beside the continual burnt offering, and his drink offering.

It was not lawful for David to eat the bread in the Temple.

Yeshua identified Himself as greater than the Temple. Therefore, He was greater than the priests that served in the Temple.

Mt 12:6 But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple. 

Mt 12:7 But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. 

This was not the first time Yeshua used this statement with the Pharisees:

Mt 9:13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Yeshua was referencing the prophet Hosea.

Hos 6:4 O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? for your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away. 

Hos 6:5 Therefore have I hewed them by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of my mouth: and thy judgments are as the light that goeth forth. 

Hos 6:6 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. 

Hos 6:7 But they like men have transgressed the covenant: there have they dealt treacherously against me. 

Hos 6:8 Gilead is a city of them that work iniquity, and is polluted with blood. 

Hos 6:9 And as troops of robbers wait for a man, so the company of priests murder in the way by consent: for they commit lewdness. 

Hos 6:10 I have seen an horrible thing in the house of Israel: there is the whoredom of Ephraim, Israel is defiled. 

Hos 6:11 Also, O Judah, he hath set an harvest for thee, when I returned the captivity of my people.

The priests worked on the Sabbath and were blameless/innocent and yet, the Pharisees who knew this wanted to condemn men for plucking grain to eat because they were hungry.

Mt 12:8 For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day. 

After Yeshua accused the Pharisees of condemning the guiltless, He went into their synagogue on the Sabbath day.


Mt 12:9 And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue: 

Mt 12:10 And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him. 

Mt 12:11 And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? 

Mt 12:12 How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days. 

It seems the Pharisees had more compassion for an animal which was of lesser value than a man.

There are people who seemingly have more compassion for animals than for people.

Mt 12:13 Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other. 

 The Pharisees’ philosophy was, if you want healing, get it during the six days for on the Sabbath healing was forbidden. There is no Law or Commandment forbidding healing on the Sabbath day. 

The Pharisees had exalted the Sabbath above man, making man subject to the Sabbath when the Sabbath was made for man.

Lk 13:10 And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. 

Lk 13:11 And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. 

Lk 13:12 And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. 

Lk 13:13 And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. 

Lk 13:14 And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day. Lk 13:15 The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering? 

Lk 13:16 And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day? 

Lk 13:17 And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.


Mt 12:14 Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him.

Last Updated on September 7, 2021 by Arthur Bailey Ministries

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