Sermon #31                                                   Luke Sermons


Title:          “The Second Sabbath After The First”

Text:           Luke 6:1-5

Subject:      Christ's Disciples Picking Corn

Date:          Sunday Evening June 18, 2000

Tape #        V-88a

Readings:   Office: Don Martin Auditorium: Gary Baker



 (Luke 6:1-5) “And it came to pass on the second sabbath after the first, that he went through the corn fields; and his disciples plucked the ears of corn, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands. (2) And certain of the Pharisees said unto them, Why do ye that which is not lawful to do on the sabbath days? (3) And Jesus answering them said, Have ye not read so much as this, what David did, when himself was an hungered, and they which were with him; (4) How he went into the house of God, and did take and eat the showbread, and gave also to them that were with him; which it is not lawful to eat but for the priests alone? (5) And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.”


There is a phrase used in the opening verse of this sixth chapter of Luke that is found nowhere else in the Bible. It is a phrase which has been the subject a much debate about nothing for hundreds and hundreds of years. The phrase is Second Sabbath After The First.”


Some of the great theologians of the past tell us that this phrase refers to the sabbath following the cutting of the first sheaf of harvest during the Jews’ passover week. Others say the phrase refers to the three great sabbaths kept by the Jews every year (The Feast of Passover The Feast of Pentecost The Feast of Tabernacles), and that this sabbath was the sabbath kept during the Feast of Pentecost.


As I read the various opinions of the “theologians” concerning this phrase, I thought, “How utterly ridiculous and useless!” Certainly, this phrase refers to a sabbath day commonly known to the Jews living at the time as “the second sabbath after the first,” or (more literally) “the second first sabbath.” But who cares which one it was?


What is important is this: Why did God the Holy Spirit inspire and direct Luke to these particular words here? That I am interested in knowing. The answer is very simple. The Lord of the Sabbath had come to fulfill and forever abolish the first, carnal, ceremonial sabbath of the law, that he might establish that blessed second sabbath of the gospel, that he might forever be the Sabbath Rest of his people.


Proposition:  Christ is our Sabbath.


Let me call your attention to three things in this short paragraph.


I.                   First, the Spirit of God here sets before us a glaring example of A DEADLY SIN.


We are told here that on a certain sabbath day our Lord and his disciples walked through the corn fields. As they did, the disciples. being hungry. picked some ears of the grain, rubbed it in their hands, and had a snack.


Immediately, the Pharisees charged the Lord’s disciples with what they thought was a very serious crime. These men had broken the fourth commandment of the law. They had done work on the sabbath day! The deadly sin revealed here is not seen in the action of the disciples, but in the action of the Pharisees.


Hear me now, and hear me well. The most deadly of all is the sin of self-righteousness. Our Lard warns us in many ways and repeatedly to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees. That leaven which corrupts and destroys everything it touches is self-righteousness and hypocrisy.


Self-righteousness and hypocrisy attach great importance to outward things in religion, things which other people see, applaud and reward; but neglects inward, spiritual heart worship.


These Pharisees were sticklers for sabbath keeping, but notorious for covetousness (Luke 16:14).

They strained the tiniest gnat from their ceremonial religious cup regarding some things, and swallowed the camel in other matters.

These men were quick to censor, criticize, and condemn others.


A.   God hates the spirit of the Pharisee!


God almighty hates self-righteousness. Nothing is more abhorrent to him than the stench of self-righteousness (Isa. 65:1-5; Luke 18:9-14; Mic. 6:6-8; Matt. 23:23).


(Isaiah 65:1-5) “I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name. (2/ I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts; (3) A people that provoketh me to anger continually to my face; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense upon altars of brick; (4)    Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine’s flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels; (5) Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.”


(Luke 18:9-14) “And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: (10) Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. (11) The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. (12) I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. (13) And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”


(Micah 6:6-8) “Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy



(Matthew 23:23) “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.”


B.  Nothing is more likely to keep a sinner from Christ than self-ri2hteousness (Rom. 9:30-109:4).


Religion without Christ is the most damning thing in this world. Every act, practice, profession, and pretense of religion without Christ is eating and drinking damnation to your soul, not discerning the Lord’s body. not understanding the gospel.


(Romans 9:30-33) “What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. (31) But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. (32) Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; (33) As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.”


(Romans 10:1-4) “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. (2) For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. (3) For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. (4) For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.”


II.                Second, the Lord Jesus Christ is set before us in this passage as A DEFENDING SAVIOR.


No sooner did the Pharisees accuse the disciples of evil, than the Lord Jesus took up their cause and defended them against their accusers. He answered the cavils of their enemies. He did not leave his followers to answer for and defend themselves. He answered for them and defended them.


What a blessed, encouraging, delightful picture this is of our Savior’s unceasing work on our behalf! We read in this Book of one who is called “the accuser of the brethren, who accuses them day and night” (Rev. 12:10). He is Satan, the prince of darkness.


·       How often we accommodate our accuser, giving him many grounds for his accusations!

·       How many charges he might justly lay against us!


But he who is our Savior, ever pleads our cause, both in heaven and on earth, and defends us. Christ is my Rock, my Salvation, my Refuge, my Defense, and my Defender!


(1 John 2:1-2) “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: (2/ And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”


(Romans 8:28-3 5) “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (30) Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. (31) What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? (32) He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? (33) Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. (34) Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. (35) Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?”


A.   When my adversary, the devil, accuses me of some evil by the lips of a man on earth, I respond, “Let Christ answer for me.”

B.   When the fiend of hell accuses me of horrid evils in my own mind and conscience, as he often does, I respond, “Let Christ answer for me.”

C.   In the day of judgment, should that wicked one be allowed to appear, point his accusing finger and attempt to have my crimes charged against me, I will yet respond, “Let Christ answer for me.”


III.             Third, the Spirit of God points us to A DELIGHTFUL SABBATH.


I read one commentator’s explanation of this passage, and could hardly believe what he put on paper. I knew he was inclined toward legality; but I was still surprised by what he wrote. As he attempted to protect sabbath observance, he said, We must not interpret the Lord’s words in this passage as an indication that the fourth commandment is no longer to “bind Christians.”


Well, if I convey nothing else in this message, let me convey this, Christ did not come here to bind his people with the rigors of legal bondage. He came here to set his people free. He who is our Savior is both the Lord of the sabbath and our Sabbath (Luke 6:5).


(Luke 6:5)  "And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath."


There are many things which could and should be said this; but I will be brief. I want to persuade you to trust Christ and rest in him. So, let me just briefly show you what this means.


(Romans 10:4) “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.”


(Colossians 2:16-17) “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: {17J Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.”


A.   Christ, as the Lord of the sabbath, is the one who established it.

B.   He is the one for whom it was established.

C.   He is the one to whom it pointed, the one typified by it.

D.  Christ is the one who fulfilled it.

E.   Having fulfilled it, he abolished it forever (Rom. 10:4; Col. 2:16-17).


(Rom 10:4)  "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth."


(Col 2:16-17)  "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: (17) Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ."


F.    We rejoice to keep the gospel Sabbath of faith.


We keep that which is here called, “the second sabbath after the first,” the blessed sabbath of rest in Christ. Coming to him, we cease from our own works and rest in him (Matt. 11:28-30).


(Matthew 11:28-30) “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (29) Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (30) For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”


The penalty of not keeping this Sabbath is death, eternal death. That is the penalty God places upon all the works men do for salvation (John 3:36).


(John 3:36) “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”


I heard the voice of Jesus say,

“Come unto me and rest;

Lay down, thou weary one lay down,

Thy head upon my breast.”

I came to Jesus as I was,

Weary, and worn, and sad;

I found in Him a resting place,

And He has made me glad!