The Sabbath an Agency Within Christ's Control
Matthew 12:8
For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.

For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day. It would open up a most interesting subject if we were to inquire whether our Lord spoke these words in his personal or in his representative capacity - whether he meant, "I, as an individual, am Lord of the sabbath," or whether he recant, "Every man, if he is a true man, with right motives and purposes, is lord of his sabbath, and has both the power and the liberty to arrange it as he thinks may be for the best."

I. CHRIST WAS LORD OF HIS SABBATHS. It is familiar thought that he was Lord because he was Divine - he was the Son of God; "all power was given unto him in heaven and in earth." But that is not his own ground of claim here. He was "Lord of the sabbath" because he was "the Son of man;" first of men - model Man. His manhood gave him his rights. Had he been a man of wavering disposition, uncertain in his ideas of the right, ruled by self-pleasing, or with a poor sense of loyalty to God, he could not have managed his sabbaths. But, being the perfectly controlled, pious, cultured Man he was, we all feel at once that we could have no hesitation whatever in fully committing to him the management of his sabbaths, for himself, for his household, for his disciples. The perfect Divine Man can be "Lord of the sabbath;" he will do no wrong himself; he will let no wrong be done by those about him. If he permits his disciples to satisfy their hunger by plucking the ears of corn on the sabbath, those disciples do no wrong. Character, sanctified character, is the lord of the sabbath; and this is perfectly shown in the claims of Jesus, the ideal Man.

II. CHRISTIANS ARE LORDS OF THEIR SABBATHS. Just in the degree in which they are Christians indeed, swayed by Christian principles, toned by the Christian spirit, moulded to the Christian model. We observe that we do, without thinking about it, fully permit established Christians to arrange their sabbaths how they please - we easily let them be lords of the sabbath. Our anxiety concerns the ways in which the inexperienced Christians, the mere professors, and the worldly, keep the sabbath. It is only for their sakes that we ever think of making sabbath rules. If all men were such men as the Lord Jesus, we could banish every sabbath rule, and let them be "lords of their sabbaths;" and so it comes to view that what the world wants is the Divine life in souls, the Divine culture in life, the perfecting of manhood so that every man may become lord of his sabbath. - R.T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.

WEB: For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath."

The Lord of the Sabbath
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