The mark of newness is upon you. A new heart. A new spirit. A new identity in Christ. This is what it means to be marked by Jesus and to carry His stamp of approval. When you belong to Jesus, you belong to His family forever and this salvation is permanent. Assured. Final. Eternal. Irrevocable. Jesus came to earth to invite us into His Heavens. Jesus begins this journey as He infiltrates earth’s culture and ministers to the people with love and truth.
Jesus came to make us His. Do you want Jesus to be yours? He wants you to be… if you will let Him be King of your life. If you will let Him mark you with His heart. Jesus’ heart teaches us the way to life, and its counter-cultural. He teaches a new way of thinking, living and functioning as its aligns with God’s way of life. We were meant for this. To live the way God lives. We find highest satisfaction from this way of life when we live the way God lives. Jesus shows us how. May we be marked by Him and His love forever!
The Marks of Jesus we will talk about in today’s study.
Verse 25: Scripture-Awareness
Verse 26: Need
Verse 27: Sabbath
Verse 28: Lordship
Verse 1: Fearlessness
This week in our study of Marked by Jesus, we study Mark 2:25–3:1, where Jesus confronts wrong thinking from the Pharisees and teaches correct thinking and theology about what the Sabbath is and what it’s for. Jesus is the creator of our theology. We understand more about God and about life itself through His teachings. Let’s gear up and dive in to learn more about Jesus Christ, our King, as we progress through the gospel of Mark.
Verse 25: The Mark of Scripture-Awareness
“And He said to them, “Have you never read what David did, when He was in need and was hungry, He and those who were with Him.”
Jesus knows the Bible inside and out. His Holy Spirit wrote it, every word, through the hands of people He inspired to inscribe it.
His Word gives a prescription on how to live in a world that follows another way of life outside of God. We need His Word in order to know what our true paradigm of living is. We need the Bible to tell us what truth is, what love is, what purity is, what right and wrong are, where hope comes from, and who God is.
God’s Word is truth.
“He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created.” James 1:18
The Word of truth speaks destiny and hope over you. Words of truth are God’s words and they are supernatural words. His words are given to us through the Bible. His Word create miracles. It brings things to life. It cultivates our growth.
We discover more of who God is through the Words of His Holy scriptures. We gain insight for life from the words He approves of, and He does approve of it. Every word. We will never go wrong in reading the Bible. We will always gain uplifting wisdom.
Jesus wants you to read His Word.
In this passage, the Pharisees oppose Jesus because His disciples pick grain to eat on the Sabbath. Jesus wastes no time in interjecting.
In verse 25, Jesus says “have you never read what David did…” when confronting the wrong thinking from the Pharisees.
Jesus uses His own history book to show them God approves of it. We will go into more depth about this instance in the next verse.
God knows His history and your history.
He strategizes your future accordingly.
God is good at being God. He is higher than us and His authority reigns over us, for our own blessing. Trust me, you want God to be in charge, because when He is in charge, your life will unfold exponentially better than it does when He is not in charge. God knows how to make a beautiful story for you.
Jesus points out, in his rebuttal to the Pharisees, that David did something when he was “hungry.” Just as the disciples picked grain because they were hungry. Hunger creates a need. And Jesus wants to fill that need.
Verse 26: The Mark of Need
“How He entered the house of God, in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with Him?”
Jesus knows what you need.
Here in verse 26, Jesus goes on to refer to the moment in the Old Testament when King David had a need.
In this story found in 1 Samuel 21, David was so hungry that he once ate the bread that was on the table of presence inside the synagogue. Jesus approves of this because people are more important than laws. So he uses it as an example when correcting the Pharisees. For an inside look at this story, let’s look deeper into the passage itself.
In 1 Samuel 21:4, it says…
“And the priest answered David, “I have no common bread on hand, but there is holy bread—if the young men have kept themselves from women.”
David is on the run from Saul at this point and there were no women to have relations with. So not only is David hungry in his stomach, but he is hungry in other places too.
1 Samuel 24:5 goes on…
“And David answered the priest, “Truly women have been kept from us as always when I go on an expedition. The vessels of the young men are holy even when it is an ordinary journey. How much more today will their vessels be holy?”
So the priest gives David the holy bread… the bread nobody was allowed to eat except for the priests.
When you have a need arising from purity, you get special blessings from the Lord.
God grants you access to partake of things nobody else can partake of because you have been denied your needs in another area of your life. David and his companions had no women in their lives to have relations with, so they got to have the special bread that nobody else could eat. This symbolizes Jesus’ provision given, just as promised in His word, to those who follow Him.
You may have a lack in your life, but God is doing a special thing and going to give you a special blessing in the meantime. He will not overlook you nor pass you over. Let Him work. You can be bold to ask for what you need, knowing God will provide in the lack and He will provide in the long-term. Soon, David will be King and he will have endless access to all the good foods his body needs.
Jesus approves of this entire story involving David and the holy bread. He uses it and endorses it when he tells the Pharisees this story right here in Mark chapter 2.
Jesus knew it would anger the Pharisees, who liked to take advantage of others, and he was not a bit afraid of ruffling their feathers. Jesus’ opinion is the only opinion that carries the final word.
Jesus understands the complexity of human needs.
Jesus defends you because He understands your needs.
What need do you have in your life?
Come to the one who understands you and I better than anyone. He will provide.
In the next verse, Jesus will assert His authority over the matter and over them, saying that He is “Lord over the Sabbath” and that what He says goes. His words do not change.
Love and human dignity anchor everything Jesus says and does.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7
We were made to have needs.
God creates blessings and good things to fill those needs.
“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
Notice it says, “according to His riches.”
God is not an empty God.
God has riches for you in every part of your life, heart, soul, body and mind. When we understand that joy and love are better than money, we can embrace the true riches He is trying to give us. Peace is better than possessions. Happiness and family are better than investments and financial stability. But the good thing about our God is that He can give you all of it… God gave King Solomon all of it… both possessions and blessings in every area of life and heart. When we put God first in our lives and finances, He can open up His blessings upon us.
I’m reminded of King Solomon who asked for wisdom from the Lord to lead His people well when he became King. This impressed God so much, that He gave Solomon the wisdom he asked for, plus every blessing under the sun.
“The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both wealth and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. And if you walk in obedience to me and keep my decrees and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.” 1 Kings 3:10-14
God wants to give you more than you need, so that you are extravagantly satisfied. This is the kind of God He is! He is not a frugal God. He is a big God, and He knows how to bless you in big ways.
“As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.” Psalm 17:15
Reading God’s Word sets you up to be satisfied.
Why? Because you are aware of what the scripture says and, therefore, you know you can claim it as yours.
You will be more willing to claim what belongs to you in the name of Jesus because you know God approves of it. Reading God’s Word gives you the confidence you need to make the decisions you need to make. He is for you and He gives you more freedom than you realize. God is always looking for ways to bless you and upgrade your life to higher joy and love. God is a giver. God is a lover.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
God loves with bold love.
He gave His very self for the sake of love.
God wants to give you everything good that comes from Him.
He proves this by His own actions in how He gives the best of Him to you. John 3:16 says He did this for us because He “so loved the world.” God loves you… He loves us… He loves His people… He loves His family of believers whom He created to know Him. It grieves His heart for anyone to deny the opportunity to be with Him, but it’s everyone’s choice.
God will always be the God who takes care of us in every way, both in our eternal lives and our temporary lives here on earth. With God, you get blessed in both.
“Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.” Mark 10:29-30
Leave behind what holds you back and claim the love God is giving to you. His blessings are yours now and forever.
Jesus approves of you eating what you need. Partaking of what you need. Gleaning what you need even when others disapprove. This does not mean that God approves of everything you do. But it does mean that there are things you are doing right that your enemies are trying to make you think you’re doing wrong. Don’t listen to anyone who is against you. Listen to God. He has the final word.
Verse 27: The Mark of Sabbath
“And He said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”
The Sabbath is for you.
God gave us a Sabbath day of rest to fuel the bodies He gave us. God literally made this day to be a day where we can pause from the goings-on of life and take time to refresh, rest and reenergize for the rest of the week. Humans need this day. Jesus endorses this here, reminding the Pharisees of His Father’s design.
The Greek word for “Sabbath” in the biblical text is “sabbaton” which means “day of rest” or “seventh day of rest.”
The Sabbath day was God’s own invention. He rested Himself after the 6th day of forming creation. Living beings were designed to need rest. Rest is not a bad thing. Rest is not a lazy thing. Rest is not a meaningless thing. Rest is a proactive thing.
You accomplish more when you have given your body, soul and mind rest.
A lack of rest decreases your productivity level. This does not mean that we need to over-rest, but it does mean that we can let go of the tendency to think that rest is delaying our productivity. Don’t worry about what is not getting done while you are resting. You will get much more done with a whole and rested, refreshed mind and body than you would have running on an empty tank.
God wants you to be productive, and we have a lot of time during a day that we can accomplish quite a lot. When we utilize our time wisely, this also generate rest. Rest is not only taking a break from work. Rest is a mindset of giving your time to the right tasks and objects. If you spend time on something that drains you, it will deplete your rest. If you spend time with people who drain you, it will deplete your rest. You were designed to thrive with a restful and peaceful mind, heart, soul and body. Give yourself to the right things that are designed for you and you will experience that you accomplish what you need to in a shorter amount of time. Then when you must do things that are more challenging, you will have a fulfilled heart and mind to be able to accomplish what you need to execute.
Rest empowers you.
The Sabbath is important to your growth. We need rest to grow and replenish. We need refreshment to rejuvenate. God gives rest so you can renew yourself in everything you have exerted.
We also see that Jesus asserts His authority in this verse when speaking about matters of the Sabbath.
Verse 27 says, “He said to them…”.
Jesus has the authority to tell people what is true.
He does not have to be a religious leader in their congregation, nor does He have to follow what they mandate. He made the rules of the universe, and any kind of rule that a human makes just for the sake of their own tradition is not always aligned with God. Only God’s rules are justifiable.
Jesus opens His mouth to remind them who He is.
Jesus does not assert that He is the Messiah yet, nor does He say is the Son of God, but He alludes to it by saying He is the “Son of Man” and that he has the power to be “Lord over” it. To say you are Lord over something means you are in authority over something. Jesus holds ultimate authority.
Jesus said that His words sanctify us with truth.
“Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” John 17:17
Many may have opinions, but only one truth exists. Everything God says and approves of is true. Every other empty philosophy will not hold true.
Verse 28: The Mark of Lordship
“So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”
Jesus is Lord over everything. Even the dark places must to bow to Jesus. We will see this play out as we progress in Mark’s gospel. When Jesus encounters demons, they will shout His name and bow to Him because they know He is the Son of God. Every spirit knows who Jesus is.
Do you know who Jesus is?
Everyone will know who Jesus is in the end. And everyone will bow to Jesus and hail Him as Lord and King, like He is.
“That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in Heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:10-11
This is the mark of Lordship. A mark that Jesus alone carries.
We carry the mark of belonging to the Lord. Being His Beloved. He carries the mark of being the Lord over everything in the universe.
Jesus says here, “The Son of Man is Lord.”
It’s good to know we are held in the hands of a loving, good Lord. One whom cares about every aspect of who we are. When He asserts His authority, everyone takes a deep breath relief because they know they are in good hands.
Do you make people feel like they are in good hands?
If you want to be marked by Jesus, you must love like He loves, and lead as He leads.
Jesus uses His power to take care of His people, no matter how difficult.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:11
A leader who lays down his life for others shows bravery.
When you must lay down your life for another person, you experience what it means to carry leadership the way Jesus does. Give of yourself first, and you will typify the Lord’s loving leadership. Leaders put themselves at risk first, and go to the front of the battlelines, so that the others may be shielded from harm. This is what Jesus does for us, and so He is given the highest name of all.
“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” Revelation 5:12
Verse 1: Fearlessness
“Again He entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand.”
The King likes to do it His way. The true way. The high way. The good way. The only way that is the way. He makes the way and is the way to life.
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
Jesus makes the rules.
Jesus is fearless.
The mark of fearlessness empowers you to step into forbidden places according to man because you know it’s given to you by God.
Jesus steps right back into the synagogue where the Pharisees told him not to enter because Jesus is not scared of anybody. They cannot take away His authority and they cannot take away His power.
No one can take away what God has given you. Your promised land may have battles, but like the Israelites, you will win every one of them. So press on.
Do it again. What they told you not to do but you know you need to. Because it heals them and heals you. Limitations are not always in place for your protection. Sometimes the limitations are the problem because they cater to a system more than the human.
Jesus does not allow any limitations to block Him from loving people.
Here in verse 1 of chapter 3, Jesus walks right through the front door of the synagogue, no questions asked. He does not need to ask for permission. He is the permission-giver. The life-giver. The rule maker. Just as we read in verse 28, Jesus said “the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.” Jesus is in charge.
Are you deferring to people who think they are in charge of you? Stop listening to that. Jesus is the One in charge of your life and your situation. He knows what He is orchestrating. He knows what He is strategizing. It will be different than how everyone else does it. He is God, remember? He does it His way. Don’t let other people get in the way of what God is doing. Let Him be in charge and let Him love you. His love is the love you need. His voice is the voice you need.
“The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.” Psalm 29:4
The Lord’s voice makes the final decision. So His voice is the one you need to make sure you can hear.
Jesus is the leader and nobody tells him what to do. So Jesus walks back into the synagogue like He’s the boss, because He is. He’s God. Even though he is in human form right now, His power still overrides humans. He will not be silenced or limited by any religious leader who attempts to control Him.
Nobody controls God… God is the King. Jesus is Lord. Jesus is God.
God says this about His supreme power…
“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?” Job 38:4-7
God formed the earth all by Himself. He needs nobody’s help.
God marked off the dimensions of the earth because He carries the mark of power in His nature.
He can take care of your life all by Himself too. Stop putting your trust in people who don’t know what is best for you. God knows what is best for you and He does whatever pleases Him. Because He is God.
Jesus is also a kind and loving God, so everything He does is executed with pure and loving motives. You can trust Him in everything He does.
Jesus’ fearlessness is rooted in love. Love makes you fearless.
Favorite Takeaway of The Passage:
“Another time Jesus went…”
Do it again. Pray again. Try again. Love again. Hope again. Jesus is tenacious and He won’t take “no” for an answer. He keeps going into the places where He knows He will face persecution. He keeps loving the ones he knows are in dangerous scenarios. He keeps being God in a world where God is not wholly honored. Why? Because Jesus is a God who never gives up.
Don’t give up on what you hope for. Don’t give up on what you envision. Don’t give up on what God says you are promised. Don’t give up on your dreams. Don’t give up on your goals. God has more for you… and He wants you to try again.
I’m reminded of 2 Kings 3, where Elisha tells the king to keep striking the ground in battle.
“Then Elisha said, “Take the arrows!” So he took them, and Elisha said to the king of Israel, “Strike the ground!” So he struck the ground three times and stopped. But the man of God was distressed with him and said, “You should have struck the ground five or six times. Then you would have struck down Aram until you had put an end to it.” 2 Kings 3:18-19
Can you do it again?
Mark 3:1 says Jesus went to the synagogue “another time,” despite the persecution last time. And every time He went in, someone got healed.
Victory comes from doing it again. Don’t stop until you reach your goal. Repetition with the right things builds the Kingdom of God.