PASSAGE: "Then he said to them, 'The sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the sabbath; so the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath" (Mark 2:27-28 NRSV).
COMMENT: The religious authority figures of his time were consistently outraged that Jesus believed and taught that a personal relationship to God was more important than strict obedience to manmade rules. In this case, Jesus and his disciples were walking through fields of grain, and they plucked some of the grain to eat. It happened to be the sabbath, so the Pharisees following and observing were shocked that Jesus would allow his followers to violate the strict rules defining "what is not lawful on the sabbath" (Mark 2:24). Jesus' reply is, I think, a profound statement of spiritual priority. The sabbath laws were not created by God, but by man. They were created specifically to help men stay connected to their divine Source. We are not here in this human experience simply to obey spiritual laws in hopes of a reward in heaven. We are here to express more of the power of God—to create the kingdom of heaven. The laws are intended to help us remember and retain our spiritual purpose. But each of us is fully and uniquely connected to God as Source, and that connection, and the guidance it offers us, is more reliable than any pre-existing laws.