Mark 2:23
One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and His disciples began to pick the heads of grain as they walked along.
Works Which Hallow the SabbathAlexander MaclarenMark 2:23
The Lord and the Law of the SabbathR. Green Mark 2:23-3:6
A Knowledge of the Law Without the True Spirit of the LawQuesnel.Mark 2:23-24
ScrupulosityR. Glover.Mark 2:23-24
Through the CornfieldsG. T. Coster.Mark 2:23-24
Love Greater than LawE. Johnson Mark 2:23-28
Sabbath ObservanceJ.J. Given Mark 2:23-28
The Sabbath Made for ManA.F. Muir Mark 2:23-28



1. The disciples were within the written permission of the Law. "To pluck and rub with the hand ears from the field of a neighbor was allowed; Moses forbade only the sickle (Deuteronomy 23:25). But the matter belonged to the thirty-nine chief classes (fathers), each of which had its subdivisions (daughters), in which the works forbidden on the sabbath were enumerated. This was their hypocritical way, to make of trifling things matters of sin and vexation to the conscience" (Braune).

2. "Men see that others neglect rules, when they see not their own violation of principles" (Godwin).


1. "The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath. This is proved by an incident from the life of David. As they revered David, the allusion was an argumentum ad hominem as well as an illustration of a general principle. By that occurrence it was shown that even the sanctities of the temple were subordinated to the welfare of God's anointed and his followers. If, then, these things bent to the highest interests of man, so must the sabbath.

2. The Son of man is Lord of the sabbath. This is an inference from the foregoing principle. For Christ claimed this authority not merely as a man, but as the Son of man in his inviolable holiness, and in his mysterious dignity (intimated in Daniel) as the holy Child and Head of humanity appearing in the name of God" (Lange). He summed up in his own person the highest interests of the race. And as Lord of the sabbath he uses it ever for the advancement of holiness and the development of spiritual freedom in his saints. - M.

And it came to pass, that He went through the cornfields on the Sabbath day.
He who has only the knowledge without the spirit of the law, very often opposes when he thinks he is defending it. Pharisaical pride makes men set themselves up for judges of everything, and require an account of everything to be given them. When a man is once full of himself, he decides confidently, especially when it is to condemn others. Those who love to domineer are not content to exercise their authority upon their own disciples, but would fain bring those of others under their dominion.


Scrupulosity is considered by some as identical with conscientiousness. It is not so. It is a tare that resembles the wheat, but is not wheat; a disease of the conscience, not a refinement of it. You must not judge an eye by its sensitiveness to light, but by its power of seeing. When light pains the eye it is because there is inflammation, not because the organ is a fine one. So it is with conscience. The health of conscience is not to be measured by its sensitiveness, its protests, and its objections; but by its power to lead a man into all genial activities and self-denying charities. Conscientiousness is a happy child, whose language is — "What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits?" Scrupulosity is a slave, whose language is — "What must I do to avoid God's rebuke?" Conscientiousness acts on great principles; scrupulosity on little rules. Conscientiousness serves God, blesses man, and protects him who cherishes it; scrupulosity is often useless to everybody. Conscientiousness makes man an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile; but scrupulosity often makes him an Ishmaelite indeed, in whom there is often a good deal. The Pharisees were full of scrupulosity, and it produced in them all uncharitableness.

(R. Glover.)

Looking out upon the cornfields of wheat we see —

I. UNITY IN VARIETY. To the unaccustomed eye the wheat seems one, and yet it is various. There is the white wheat, the rod wheat, and beneath these, varieties and sub-varieties in great number. Yet what unity in the variety. Variety, too, meets us as we look out upon the vast field of humanity; yet what unity. One hand has made us all; in Christ "there is neither Greek nor Jew, bond nor free." In Him "all we are brethren."

II. FRUITFULNESS THROUGH DEATH is taught us by the fields of wheat. The field of burial shall become the field of resurrection.

III. THE PERMANENCE OF CHARACTER is suggested to us by the ripening fields of wheat — "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."

IV. THE VAST PRODUCTIVENESS OF GOOD is suggested by the fields of wheat — "And bring forth fruit, some an hundredfold." Christianity, truth, work for God, yield "much fruit."

V. HUMAN DEPENDENCE is taught us by the cornfields; God giveth the increase.

(G. T. Coster.)

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