27Then he said, “The Sabbath was created for humans; humans weren’t created for the Sabbath. 28 This is why the Human One[b] is Lord even over the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27-28, CEB)
As western Christians who happen to be evangelical… Pentecostal… Charismatic… cutting edge… emergent… umm… I know I’m forgetting some label…
(We struggle with forms. It’s interesting that we struggle with forms and have no trouble with labels.)
In Mark 2 Jesus swings away at how the religious leaders were using forms. Yet, Jesus doesn’t throw out the forms. The goal is to understand what religious leaders were doing to the forms that were intended to set people free.
He swings away at fasting in 2:18-22. The religious leaders had turned fasting into a dreary obligation that had to be done at certain times in certain ways. Jesus didn’t get rid of fasting. He simply points out there are seasons for feasting and seasons for fasting.
There is a scene in the movie The Legend of Bagger Vance where Bagger is caddying for Rannulph Junuh and Junuh is feeling pretty good about his game. The ball is in a tough spot and Vance has an idea of which club to use. Junuh asks for another club, to which Bagger replies, “There’s a time to leave that club in the bag and there’s a time to take it out.”
That is the point of spiritual formation. There are disciplines to be used in our lives and what the Kingdom of God tries to teach us is when to use those tools for the greatest effectiveness in the Kingdom.
It’s the same with the Sabbath. The religious leaders had reduced the Sabbath to set rules of what to do. Yet, the Sabbath is important. We NEED Sabbath in our lives. If we try to push our bodies 24/7, we will break down and at some point our bodies will take a Sabbath for us!
The forms given to us are freedom. It is how we use those forms that determine whether we walk in freedom or bondage.
Don’t throw out fasting. Remember that you need Sabbath. Do so in the freedom and power of the Spirit.