GALATIANS CHAPTER 4
I) [Gal 4:1-7]:
(v. 1) "What I am saying is that as long as the heir is a child, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate.
(v. 2) He is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father.
(v. 3) So also, when we were children, we were in slavery under the basic principles of the world.
(v. 4) But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law,
(v. 5) to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.
(v. 6) Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father."
(v. 7) So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir."
II) [Gal 4:8-9]:
(v. 8) "Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods.
(v. 9) But now that you know God--or rather are known by God - how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?
[Donald K. Campbell, Bible Knowledge Commentary, NT, Walvoord & Zuck Eds, Victor Books, USA, 1988, p. 602]:
"4:8-9. Prior to conversion the Galatians, in their ignorance of the one true God, were in bondage to false gods such as Zeus and Hermes (cf. Acts 14:11-13). But a great change took place and they came to know God (salvation from the perspective of man), or to be known by God (salvation from God's perspective). Yet having come to know (gnontes, from ginwskw, lit., 'to know intimately and on a personal level') the true God, the Galatians were turning back. Paul was amazed and dismayed. Did they understand that they would be going back to a state of religious slavery? Was this their desire? If so, why would they be attracted to a system that was weak (it could not justify or energize for godly living) and miserable (it could not provide an inheritance). The principles (stoicheia) of that system are 'of the world,' as Paul had already said in verse 3."
III) [Gal 4:10-11]:
(v. 10) "You are observing special days and months and seasons and years!
(v. 11) I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you."
"4:10. Under the influence of the Judaizers the Galatians had at least begun to observe the Mosaic calendar. They kept special days (weekly sabbaths), and months (new moons), and seasons (seasonal festivals such as Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles), and years (sabbatical and jubilee years). (Cf. Col. 2:16.) They observed these special times, thinking that they would thereby gain additional merit before God. But Paul had already made it clear that works could not be added to faith as grounds for either justification or sanctification."
A) [Compare Mk 2:23-28]:
[Note that the time of this passage is during the OT Mosaic Law period, even though it appears in the Bible's New Testament section]:
(v. 23) "One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain.
(v. 24) The Pharisees said to him, 'Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?'
(v. 25) He answered, 'Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need?
(v. 26) In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.'
(v. 27) Then He said to them, 'The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.
(v. 28) So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.' "
1) Just as computers were made for man, i.e., to serve man and not man to serve computers, in the same way the Sabbath was made for the benefit of man and not man for the benefit of the Sabbath.
So verse 27 is not declaring that all men are to keep the Sabbath, it is declaring the relationship of the Sabbath to man, i.e. that the Sabbath is to serve those individuals who were commanded to keep the Sabbath and not the other way around. Nor does verse 27 stipulate who those individuals were who were commanded to keep the Sabbath. Other verses in Scripture indicate that only Israel was in view relative to keeping the Sabbath, not Gentiles or Christians.
2) This verse was spoken by our Lord to Jews in a time of the Mosaic Law - so the context would be limited to that audience.
3) Thinking back to Exodus times: the Sabbath was commanded only of Israelites to keep, the Gentiles of the times were not required to keep it.
4) It was simply explaining that the Sabbath was to benefit man not rule over him. So in certain cases as explained in the passage: like when David and his men were starving, it was permitted to eat of the ceremonial shobread and therefore override the Law in the case of dire need. Thus it is ok to break the Sabbath on certain occasions and this is within the context of the audience: Jews in the time of the Mosaic Law. So the Sabbath was made to benefit man not man to benefit the Sabbath - a statement of the character of the Sabbath not a statement of who was to observe it and who not, (otherwise, how come the Gentiles in OT times where not commanded also to keep the Sabbath?). Then in v. 28, our Lord concluded that He, the Son of Man was Lord over the Sabbath not the Sabbath lord over Him. Gentiles and Church Age believers were not in view in this passage, nor could this passage be indirectly applied to them, especially in view of passages which admonished believers of the Church Age not to insist that one another keep it, (Col 2:16, Ro 14:5, Gal 4:10).
B) [Compare Mt 12:1-14]:
(v. 1) '''At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them.
(v. 2) When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, "Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath."
(v. 3) He answered, 'Haven't you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry?
(v. 4) He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread--which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests.
(v. 5) Or haven't you read in the Law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple desecrate the day and yet are innocent?
(v. 6) I tell you that one greater than the temple is here.
(v. 7) If you had known what these words mean, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the innocent.
(v. 8) For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath."
[BKC, NT, op. cit., p. 18]:
"12:1-8. As Jesus and His disciples were going through the grainfields on the Sabbath, His disciples began to pick the wheat and eat the grain. The Pharisees immediately jumped on this 'violation' of the Law (Ex 20:8-11) and accused the disciples of working on the Sabbath. According to the Pharisees, plucking wheat from its stem is reaping, rubbing the wheat heads between one's palms is threshing, and blowing away the chaff is winnowing!
Jesus, however, disputed the Pharisees' claim, using three illustrations. First, he cited an event in the life of David (Matt 12:3-4). As he fled from Saul, David was given the consecrated bread which had been removed from the tabernacle (1 Sam 21:1-6), and was normally reserved for the priests alone (Lev 24:9). David believed that preserving his life was more important than observing a technicality. Second, the priests in the temple were involved in work on the Sabbath (Matt 12:5; cf Num 28:9-10, 18-19), yet they were considered blameless. Third, Jesus argued that He Himself was greater than the temple (Matt 12:6; cf. 'One greater' in vv. 41-42), for He is Lord of the Sabbath, that is, He controls what can be done on it, and He did not condemn the disciples (the innocent) for their action. The Pharisees were splitting hairs with their technicalities about reaping, threshing, and winnowing. They failed to understand compassion for people's basic needs (in this case, the disciples' hunger; cf. Deut. 23:24-25), but were intense in their concern for the sacrifices. Jesus reminded them of the words in Hosea 6:6, I desire mercy, not sacrifice, that is, inner spiritual vitality, not mere external formality."
B) [Compare Mt 12:1-14 cont.]:
(v. 9) Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue,
(v. 10) and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, they asked him, 'Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?'
(v. 11) He said to them, 'If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out?
(v. 12) How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.'
(v. 13) Then he said to the man, 'Stretch out your hand.' So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other.
(v. 14) But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus."
"12:9-14. The first controversy (vv. 1-8) was barely over when Jesus arrived in the synagogue. Since it was the Sabbath Day, one would expect Jesus to be in the synagogue. A man with a shriveled hand was there. Since the Pharisees were continually looking for some way to accuse Jesus, they undoubtedly planted this man in the synagogue to create an incident. The Pharisees raised the question, Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath? Jesus answered their question, as He often did, with another question. If one's sheep would fall into a pit on the Sabbath, would he not...lift the sheep out of the pit, even though this might be construed as work? An act of mercy toward an animal was perfectly in order. Since people are much more valuable than animals, mercy should be extended toward them even on Sabbath Days. Jesus thus removed any possible objection to what He was going to do, for Scripture did not forbid it and His logic was flawless. His healing the man, however, did not prompt faith in the Pharisees for they went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus."
C) [Compare Ex 16, 20, 31, 35; Lev 16, 23-26; Nu 15, 28; Dt 5]:
Note that these chapters and all others which have in view observance of the Sabbath deal specifically with the nation Israel. No where can any reference be found dealing with Gentiles or church age believers being obligated to observing the Sabbath.